Nepali Authorities Alert Mountaineers About Potential Dangers From Tauktae Cyclone
KATHMANDU, May 18 (NNN-XINHUA) – The Nepali Department of Tourism, alerted mountaineers trying to climb different Himalayan mountains in Nepal, about the danger of potential massive snowfalls, sparked by a strong TaukTae cyclonic storm, a department official said.
“We told them to be alert about the potential danger and take precautionary measures,” said Mira Acharya, director at the department that issued climbing permits for mountaineers.
Earlier, Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, suggested that mountaineering activities be halted, over potential risks from the storm that originated from the east-central Arabian Sea.
The tourism department does not have exact data about how many climbers and their aides are currently on the Himalayan mountains inside Nepal. Acharya estimated that around 500 should be on different mountains currently.
Mountaineering expedition companies, however, said, more people are on the mountains. “Around 400 climbers, Sherpa guides, and other aides representing my company are on Mt. Qomolangma alone,” Mingma Sherpa, chairman of the Seven Summit Treks, told Xinhua.
The highest in the world at 8,848.86 metres, Mt. Qomolangma straddles Nepal and China.
Nepal’s Tourism Department issued a total of 740 climbing permits for mountaineers attempting different peaks in Nepal, while Nepali Sherpa guides and other aides do not need such permits.
According to the expedition companies, snowfall has already started in the Himalayas, delaying the climbing schedules. “The climbers and their aides, representing my company, have already descended to the base camp of Mt. Qomolangma, as precautionary measures,” Sherpa said.
Sherpa said, his company does not have any plan to ask its clients to come back from the mountains immediately, as many are waiting for the weather conditions to improve. “The expeditions may take place by the end of May. So we are waiting for the weather to improve,” added Sherpa.
According to the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Nepal has already started to see the impact of the TaukTae cyclone starting yesterday, as rainfall hit the country’s western region, while mild- to medium-scale and massive snowfalls are expected in high-mountain areas by Thursday.
Archana Shrestha, deputy director-general at the department, told Xinhua that, the agency had alerted the mountaineers about the danger, as snowfalls are expected in the mountains. “Those who are in the high altitude areas of the mountains, should stay in a safe place,” she said. “We now know about the potential impact of the cyclone till Friday, but we are still not sure about the impact thereafter.”