On April 25, 2015, when a large deposit of rock and snow fell from a height of over 1,000 meters over Langtang, it produced an extreme air blast comparable to those created during some of the most powerful (EF5) tornadoes.

The Langtang village was gone, and with it 178 of its nearly 700 residents, 50 foreign nationals, and unaccounted porters and daily-wage workers from neighboring villages.

Langtang village, 17 June 2017. The rebuilding process is in full swing and the hamlet has seen a growth in guest houses.
The Langtang village. The rebuilding process is in full swing and the hamlet has seen a growth in guest houses.

Langtang Lirung, the highest peak of the mountain, has a history of falling rocks and powder avalanche. According to the older residents, a similar incident occurred during the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake, when the village was settled at an even greater height. The devastation from that earthquake resulted in the “first shift,”­ when the village was rebuilt further down the mountain.

The valley witnessed another shift in settlement with the boom in tourism in the region. One after another, the little houses characteristic of the valley, many running as guest houses, moved further down the mountain and closer to the area that was hit on that fateful April day in 2015. But like before, Langtang is rising from the rubbles – quietly, inevitably.

16 April 2016, Kyanjin Gompa. Sixteen-years-old Chimey Tshering Lopchen, a student in Kathmandu, is still haunted by the memory. At school he learnt that one ought to get under the bed when a quake strikes. The advice saved his life; Lopchen rescued two others from the avalanche.
Sixteen-year-old Chimey Tshering Lopchen, a student in Kathmandu, is still haunted by the memory of that day. At school he was told that one ought to get under a bed when a quake strikes. The advice saved his life; Lopchen rescued two others from the avalanche.

 

5th April 2016, Kyanjin Gompa. “You know we are Pasang Lhamu Sherpas right?" Sange Tamang quips as I tell this group of young girls that I mistook them for boys first. They study in Kathmandu and were back home for vacation. Their parents didn’t want them indoors during the day.
“You know we are Pasang Lhamu Sherpas, right?” Sange Tamang quips as I tell this group of young girls that I initially mistook them for boys. They study in Kathmandu and were back home for vacation. Worried about future quakes, their parents didn’t want them indoors during the day.

 

April 16, 2016. Mundu. Stones falling at a construction site, which lies 3410 meters above sea level.
Stones falling at a construction site in Mundu, which lies 3,410 meters above sea level.

 

16 June 2017. A father celebrates his daughter passing the final secondary school (SEE) exams. “Mero Chori Pass Bhayo!; My daughter has passed!” he says, with an impromptu tune on his tungna.
A father celebrates his daughter passing the final secondary school (SEE) exams. “Mero chori pass bhayo!; My daughter has passed!” he says, with an impromptu tune on his tungna.

 

15 April 2016, Mundu. While looking for fourteen-year-old Dolma, who had been through a tragic accident in the avalanche, I meet her mom on the way to Kyanjin Gompa. She is now rebuilding her house, with some cash help from an INGO. She employs six workers, whom she pays Rs. 1,100 a day. Dolma was in Kathmandu with her aunt, seeking treatment for the complications in her injured leg after surgery.
While looking for fourteen-year-old Dolma, who had been through a tragic accident in the avalanche, I meet her mom on the way to Kyanjin Gompa. She is now rebuilding her house, with some cash support from an INGO. She employs six workers, whom she pays Rs. 1,100 a day. Dolma was in Kathmandu with her aunt, seeking treatment for the complications in her injured leg after surgery.

 

April 14 2016. Gumba. A woman, recently back from the Yellow Gumba earthquake shelter in Kathmandu, has begun rebuilding her home. The government had announced a grant of Rs. 200,000 per household. But delay in distribution of the money meant that many families started the reconstruction on their own.
A woman, recently back from the Yellow Gumba earthquake shelter in Kathmandu, has begun rebuilding her home. The government had announced a grant of Rs. 200,000 per household. But delay in distribution of the money meant that many families started the reconstruction on their own.

 

A horse grazing in a field a few hundred meters up from Langtang village.
A horse grazing in a field a few hundred meters up from the Langtang village.

 

Langtang, April 2016 and June 2017.
Langtang, April 2016 and June 2017.

 

19 June 2017. Ishwor Magar and colleagues working on a new local health post in Mundu village. Currently, the village health post is running out of a school with two active staffs.
Ishwor Magar and colleagues working on a new local health post in Mundu village. The existing village health post is running out of a school with only two active staffs.

 

18 June 2017. A young man standing over the debris where once his home stood and his family lived.
A young man standing over the debris where once his home stood.

 

Photos that survived the disaster, although some are not in a good state. These are from Kartok Lama's family album and were digitized by Jennifer Bradley.
Photos that survived the disaster, although some are not in a good state. These are from Kartok Lama’s family album and were digitized by Jennifer Bradley.

 

Late night in Langtang – I
Late night in Langtang – I

 

June 2017. Late night in Langtang – II
Late night in Langtang – II

Cover photo: By Sagar Chhetri.

Sagar Chhetri (b. 1990), is a photographer based in Kathmandu. He is interested in socio-political stories. He studied photography at the International Photography Program at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Dhaka, and the Danish School of media and Journalism at Aarhus, Denmark. He is affiliated with Photo.Circle, a platform for Nepali photographers.