Amanda Holden has revealed that her sister was among one of the several Britons who were caught up in the Nepal earthquake over the weekend. The TV presenter confirmed that her sibling Debbie was one of the safe lucky ones and had been in touch with the family.
Debbie had been climbing Mount Everest when she suffered from altitude sickness and decided not to ascent to base camp – where the 7.8 magnitude earthquake had triggered an avalanche. So far a total of 18 people have died at the base camp.
Amanda and co-host Phillip Schofield were speaking with relatives affected by the earthquake on This Morning, when the pretty blonde made the emotional revelation about her sister.
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Amanda Holden said she was feeling quite "numb" after hearing about the Nepal earthquake
"It's awful, I can barely speak," said Amanda. "My mum and dad are watching and listening to you [the rescue experts] for information… but my sister is climbing Mount Everest and very luckily she is at a place that is the last camp before you get to base camp one on the south side.
"There were only four of them left at that camp because my sister was suffering so badly from altitude sickness she didn't walk up to base camp – which actually, potentially might have saved her life."
Amanda went on to say that her sister was climbing with a friend and another girl called Amy. Debbie managed to use Amy's mobile to send a text to Amanda and their mum to say she was safe.
Amanda Holden's sister Debbie has been in touch with the family to say she is safe
"I think they were going to make their way down this morning," added the Britain's Got Talent judge. A correspondent she has been in touch with informed Amanda that a helicopter had swept the south side of the mountain on Monday morning.
"Potentially my sister could have been lifted," said the 44-year-old. "Although she wasn't injured so I know that takes priority. But because the avalanche has happened and there have been no tremors since, the snow has settled so it could be safe for them to walk."
The earthquake hit Nepal on Saturday and has so far caused a death toll of more than 3,600 people, with a further 6,500 injured.