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Overcrowding leaves 3 dead and 2 missing at Mount Everest

After Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became first conqueror in 1953, more than 4,000 climbers have reached the 29,035-foot-high peak.

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Everest. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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KATHMANDU, Nepal —After the death of a Dutch and an Australian climbers a couple of days before, now an Indian has died while being helped down the Everest and two other Indian climbers went missing. The experts say some of the tragedy might have been avoided.

Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association said on Monday that overcrowding on top might have caused delay for people at highest reaches while waiting for the path to clear down. Poor planning is also one of the reason behind the delay.

“This was a man-made disaster that may have been minimized with better management of the teams,” he said. “The last two disasters on Everest were caused by nature.

Mount Everest,1975 climbing route on Southwest Face. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Mount Everest,1975 climbing route on Southwest Face. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

After deadly disasters in the previous years, many climbers hoped that this year’s climbing season will be a success and restore confidence in the route. But as many turned up to take advantage of good weather and make it to the top , reports of disaster began trickling down the mountain

Eric Arnold, a 35-year-old Dutch man died on his way down from the top by altitude sickness. Many hours later, Maria Strydom a 34-year-old Australian woman died near the peak, suffering from the same altitude sickness

On last Monday, an Indian climber Subhash Paul was reported as the 3rd death succumbing to altitude sickness overnight as he was being helped down the mountain by Sherpa guides, said Wangchu Sherpa of the Trekking Camp Nepal agency in Kathmandu.

Sunitra Hazra an Indian woman from Paul’s team was found resting at a lower altitude camp after becoming ill higher up. Paresh Nath and Goutam Ghosh, other two Indian climber have been missing since Saturday. It is unlikely that they would have survived Everest’s hostile conditions said Wangchu Sherpa.

Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition team members. Taken in 1921. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition team members. Taken in 1921. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Many other climber have gotten frostbite or become sick near the summit in recent days, including Robert Gropal husband of Australian women and was taken to hospital in Kathmandu by helicopter on Monday for treatment.

The competition between expedition organizers has caused dropping in their prices, which has led to poor equipment , less oxygen tanks and experienced guides to help climbers reach the top said Tshering.

“Teams are hiring raw guides that have no knowledge of responding to situations of emergency,” he said.

After Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became first conqueror in 1953, more than 4,000 climbers have reached the 29,035-foot-high peak.

This year nearly 400 climbers reached the summit on May 11 and Nepal government had issued permit to only 289 climber. Each climber who paid $11,000 to the government, plus another $25,000-$50,000 to an expedition company that provides guides, equipment and, often, bottled oxygen to use at high altitudes where the atmosphere is thin and these climbers accompanied by 400 Sherpa guides from Nepal.

Nepal and the Everest climbing community had been anxious for a successful season this year. The industry brings more than $3 million from permit fees alone into the poor, Himalayan country each year, and thousands of locals depend on the climbing season for secondary work as porters, hotel keepers or cooks.

People of Everest climbing community and people depending on climbing season were anxious for a successful season this year.The industry brings more than $3 million from permit fees alone into the poor, Himalayan country each year

2015’s devastating earthquake created an avalanche that killed around 19 people at Base Camp, ending all the climbing activities for that year and one year before icefall on glacier which is the route to the top killed 16 and made impossible for other to climb that season.

But while hundreds have died trying to reach the top of Everest due to avalanches, altitude sickness, exposure and other dangers, the use of bottled oxygen and better equipment had helped reduce the number of deaths each year. Satellite communication equipment and better medical facilities have also helped prevent tragedy.

Many have died trying to conquer the top of Everest because of avalanche. Altitude sickness, exposure and other dangers, but use of oxygen and better equipment’s has helped in reducing the number of deaths over the years.

Better satellite communication equipment and medical facilities have helped in preventing tragedies. Still, some people criticize expedition companies for taking new climber to Everest without any mountaineering experience.

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication from Amity school of communication, Noida. Contact the author at Twitter: bhaskar_ragha

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Willing To Shut Government Over Wall Funding: Trump

The House Republicans have always wanted to secure the border, the House Republicans have been passing bills to secure our border.

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U.S. Border Patrol officers on horseback watch President Donald Trump (not pictured) review border wall prototypes in San Diego. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump says he would “totally be willing” to partially shut down the government next week if he does not get more funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to thwart Central American migrants from entering the country.

The U.S. leader, who almost daily unleashes verbal attacks on migrants trying to cross into the United States, told the Politico news site he is insisting that $5 billion for wall construction be included in measures Congress needs to approve to keep several federal agencies open after their current spending authority expires December 7.

Opposition Democrats have said they will approve $1.6 billion for the wall, leaving the two sides far apart. Some Republicans are also opposed to Trump’s wall, which he vowed in his 2016 presidential campaign would be paid for by Mexico, although he now wants U.S. taxpayers to foot the bill.

 

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President Donald Trump listens to a question as he speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. VOA

“I am firm,” Trump said of his $5 billion demand.

“I don’t do anything … just for political gain,” Trump said. “But I will tell you, politically speaking, that issue is a total winner. People look at the border, they look at the rush to the police, they look at the rock throwers and really hurting three people, three very brave border patrol folks. I think that it’s a tremendous issue, but much more importantly, is really needed. So, we have to have border security.”

Trump was referencing a Sunday confrontation at the border in which migrants hurled rocks at U.S. Border Patrol officers, with agents repelling the crowd with blasts of tear gas. Rodney Scott, the chief Border Patrol agent in San Diego, California, just north of the Mexican border, said agents were not seriously injured.

“Their shields and their bulletproof vests actually protected them from the rocks,” he said. “We did have a few vehicles that were damaged, some windows and quite a few dents, but none of the agents were seriously injured.”

Donald Trump, democrats, government
U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges supporters as he arrives for a campaign rally at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. VOA

Even as Trump voiced his determination to win congressional approval for the $5 billion in initial funding for a wall estimated to cost more than $20 billion, he told The Washington Post in a separate interview that he could find other ways to build the wall or add more security along the border.

“I think that’s been shown better than ever in the last short period of two weeks that we need a wall,” Trump told the newspaper. “I see the Democrats are going to want to do something, because they understand, too. Those pictures are very bad for the Democrats. We’re not having a wall because of the Democrats. We need Democrat votes to have a wall.”

“Now, if we don’t get it, will I get it done another way? I might get it done another way,” he declared. “There are other potential ways that I can do it. You saw what we did with the military, just coming in with the barbed wire and the fencing, and various other things.”

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House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin returns to Capitol Hill following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House. VOA

House Speaker Paul Ryan, leader of the current majority Republican bloc in the House of Representatives, told reporters Wednesday that after the nationwide congressional elections in early November, “hopefully … Democrats realize that a secure border should not be a Republican thing, it shouldn’t be a Democrat thing, it’s just good for the country. To actually secure our border. The House is there. We hope the Senate comes with us.”

Also Read: USA Finally Votes On Tuesday To Render Decision On Trump

He added, “Turn on the TV, you can see we have a problem at the border. So, we want to secure our border. The House Republicans have always wanted to secure the border, the House Republicans have been passing bills to secure our border, and I’d like to think that Democrats would also want to join us in securing the border, especially after the election.” (VOA)