High winds in Himalayas wreck tents, expeditions halted: Details

As of now, all mountaineers, who are at an altitude of 6,500 metres, are safe. Photo: iStock/sihasakprachum

Many international mountaineers had to halt their Everest expeditions yesterday in Nepal, owing to strong winds that wrecked their tents. The winds, which were around 90 kmph, were expected to recede soon, but new reports say they are stronger than predicted earlier. The conditions are expected to improve from Friday, though snowfalls might replace the winds posing new challenges. As of now, all mountaineers, who are at an altitude of 6,500 metres, are safe. Expedition Manager Chhang Dawa Sherpa of Seven Summit Trek told PTI, "Strong winds blew some tents in the mountain since Wednesday morning as dozens of mountaineers were sheltered in the camp on their way to scale the 8,848.86 metre peak. There were around 50 mountaineers, including from the USA, Iran and Europe, besides the Nepalese mountain guides, when the incident occurred."

He said that all the mountaineers were safe and shifted to other safer tents that were intact. "Now the tents need to be reinstalled once the situation becomes normal on Thursday and the expeditions will move forward," he said. Nepal's Tourism Board handles the permits for the expedition to Mt Everest and other mountains in the Himalayan nation. 
Climate change affecting mountains
As per reports, the Himalayan region is also enduring the effects of major climatic changes. The temperatures here are rising and according to experts, the Himalayan glaciers are also experiencing a major retreat, affecting the water resources downstream, increasing the risk of avalanches and affecting the area's biodiversity. The climate change is apparently affecting the wind patterns as well. 
(With PTI inputs)

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