04/22/2014, 00.00
NEPAL
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Everest avalanche: guides suspend all climbing operations

by Christopher Sharma
The decision was taken today in memory of the 16 victims, all Sherpa guides, buried in an avalanche. For locals, 18 April marks one of the worst accidents in the history of Everest mountaineering.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - "We have decided to postpone all the Everest climbing activities for this year in the memory of 16 guides who lost their lives," said Norbu Sherpa, an official with the Himalayan Rescue Association.

For Wangchung Sherpa, president of Everest Summiteers Association, "The incident was unfortunate in the history of Mount Everest expeditions. Neither the government nor any other action could prevent this incident because the spot is very dangerous and such avalanche happened without any previous clue."

In addition to the 16 guides who lost their lives, dozens of other climbers were injured. However, rescue operations were stopped yesterday morning because of the bad weather and strong winds.

The Government of Nepal will pay one million rupees in compensation to the families of each dead guide, and more than 40,000 to cover funeral expenses.

The decision to stop climbing activities was taken in agreement with the guides who operate in the region, who called for a halt to activities in memory of the victims.

According to local media, more than 500 people who had already reached the bottom of the mountain have started to make their way back.

For Everest mountaineering, this is peak time with climbers coming from all over the world. Last year, about 1,200 people climbed Everest in this period.

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