19 APRIL, 2014 – KATHMANDU- Nepal – Over crowded traffic on the highest peak in the world in recent years showed the popularity of the Everest but natural disasters such as one on Friday’s avalanche which claimed Fifteen high-altitude Sherpa guides including base camp cooks on the early hour in the morning are unavoidable. The deadliest single mountaineering accident ever on the world’s highest peak. At least eight people have been rescued, some of them with serious frost-bite injuries.
and four more are still missing beneath the snow somewhere in the mountain.
Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa of the Himalayan Rescue Association said 12 bodies were retrieved from the avalanche site by Friday noon, while three were still buried beneath the snow. However, the Tourism Ministry confirmed 12 deaths and four missing.
Some Pictures that took during the Avalanche on Everest:
Lhakpa said that bodies were buried under more than three meters of snow. The avalanche struck around 6:45am in an area known as the “popcorn field”, just above the Everest base camp, at 5,800m. The group of Sherpa guides and base camp cooks had headed out from the base camp at 3:00am carrying food and ropes to Camps 1 and 2. The rescue officials reached the site 45 minutes later.
“As bad weather coupled with strong winds prevented rescue efforts, the remaining bodies will be retrieved on Saturday,” said Lhakpa. One of the injured, 24-year-old Furi Sherpa, has been brought to the Capital for treatment, while others are receiving care at a hospital in Lukla, the gateway to the Everest region. All the bodies were airlifted to Lukla on Friday noon.
Wanchu Sherpa, president of the Everest Summiter’s Association, said Friday’s avalanche is on “a very treacherous route’ that has claimed many climbers over the years. In 1973, a dozen Sherpa climbers were killed when the ice route in the section caved-in, Wanchu said. “Unfortunately, there is no alternative to this route and the climbers who are aware of this always watch their steps.”
In 2012, there was one death and two injuries reported in the area, while two Sherpas were critically hurt last year. In 1996, eight climbers were killed above 8,000m when they were caught in a snowstorm during ascent. In the entire season, 15 people died in their effort to scale the summit. Written by Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air, a personal account of the 1996 Everest disaster, became a 1997 bestselling non-fiction book. It details the author’s presence at Everest during the disaster.
Around 390 climbers have reached the base camp until Friday this spring. The actual climbing will start from mid-May, and the mountaineers will spend time on the lower reaches of the Himalaya to acclimatize themselves.
Last year, of the 678 climbers who obtained permits, 567 succeeded in reaching atop Everest. There were 334 guides including some Nepali climbers. The government earned US$ 3.16 million in royalties. Among the 408 climbers in 2012, there were 227 guides. According to the government data, 4,411 people have climbed Everest since the first ascent in 1953. Nearly 250 have died on its slopes.
Relief amounts announced
A meeting of the Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee, chaired by DPM and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam, has announced Rs 40,000 of relief amount for each victim’s family. Shikhar Insurance has offered Rs 50,000 to each victim, in addition to the insured’s eligible claim. The government had last year revised the insurance policy for high-altitude climbers under which a Sirdar, mountain guide, gets a minimum of Rs 1 million. For high-altitude workers, the insurance coverage has been raised to Rs 1 million from Rs 400,000. The government has increased personal accident insurance and compensation insurance for rescue officials by 150 percent to $10,000. (pr)
1. Mingma Nuru Sherpa(Namche-4)
2. Dorji Sherpa (Namche-9)
3. Ang Tshiri Sherpa (Namche-7)
4. Nima Sherpa (Namche-9)
5. Phurba Ongyal Sherpa (Khumjung-7)
6. Lhakpa Tenjing Sherpa (Khumjung-2)
7. Chhring Ongchu Sherpa (Khumjung-2
8. Dorjee Khatri (Taplejung)
9. Dorjee Sherpa (Khumjung-7)
10 .Phur Temba Sherpa (Sankhasabha)
11. Pasang Karma Sherpa (Juving-5)
12. Asman Tamang (Sotang-9)
Three More Missing and confirmed dead but bodies are yet to recover.
(Source: Tourism Ministry)