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Nepal boosts doctors‚ rescue efforts at Everest

Nepal is adding more medical staff at Mount Everest’s base camp and working to speed up rescue efforts, officials said Tuesday, in steps to boost safety after 16 local guides were killed by an avalanche last year in the deadliest disaster ever on the world’s highest peak.

Four doctors, up from two or three in the past, will be stationed at the base camp’s emergency room tent, which will be equipped to handle almost any medical need, said Devi Bahadur Koirala of the Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal.

Authorities have also arranged for rescue helicopters to airlift sick or injured climbers from base camp within 90 minutes, Koirala said. Previously, each team would arrange their own rescue, which would often take hours.

Sick or injured climbers would be first treated at the base camp and airlifted to their lower attitude clinic at Pheriche, located at an elevation of 4,370 meters (14,340 feet) and if necessary to the capital, Kathmandu.

During the spring climbing season that runs from March 1 to May 31, more than 300 foreign climbers attempting to scale Everest and their local guides and support staff swell the base camp’s population to more than 1,000 people, turning the area into a tent village. In addition, hundreds of trekkers hike up to the base camp during the same time.

Koirala said most of their patients suffer from high altitude sickness, but other common problems include injuries and broken bones of people who slip and fall on the mountain slopes.

In the 2014 avalanche that struck just above the base camp, several local guides and porters who were carrying equipment and supplies at the beginning of the season were swept away by snow, hit by falling ice and rocks, or fell into crevasses. Nepal was criticized for not having a rescue plan during disasters or any government presence at the base camp despite charging climbers huge permit fees.

Nepal’s government is also setting up a full-time office tent at the base camp this season which will have officials throughout the climbing season to provide security, settle disputes among climbers and monitor the activities of the hundreds of climbers and guides at the base camp.

They would provide information on climbing conditions and weather on the mountain and have communication equipment to quickly respond to any problems.

More than 4,000 climbers have scaled 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) Mount Everest since 1953, when it was first conquered by New Zealand climber Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay. Hundreds of others have died in the attempt.

Source: THT

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Durbarmarg, Thamel to open round-the-clock

The local administration, that had clamped restriction on nightlife business citing security reason, is now planning to give permission to run business at major touristic and commercial hubs of the capital round-the-clock.

The District Administration Office, Kathmandu and Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s Office (MPCO) are mulling to let business at Thamel, Durbarmarg and Jhamsikhel operate 24 hours, but with conditions.

Chief District Officer Ek Narayan Aryal informed that the authorities are allowing business at the areas 24 hours as enforcing fixed time for closure has sent out a wrong message about security situation.

Local administration and police have fixed some provisions for day-and-night operation.

According to MPCO Chief DIG Bigyan Raj Sharma there should be arrangement of street lights, CCCTV cameras and private security guards.

In case of nightlife businesses, internal security arrangement, internal and external CCTV cameras, fully soundproofed discos and dance bars are the conditions set by the local administration.

To ensure that the infrastructures meet set standards, a team of police and Kathmandu City Office in command of DAO, Kathmandu is coordinating with Thamel and Dubarmarg development boards along with local businessmen.

As the Durbarmarg has met all the conditions, administration is preparing to allow operating business at Durbarmarg round-the-clockin the first phase.

Currently, dance bars, pubs and discos are allowed to operate till 12 am, while other businesses are closed after 10 pm.

Source: MyRepublica

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Tourists barred from visiting Lomanthang for a week

The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) has barred tourists from visiting Lomanthang for at least a week.

ACAP Lomanthang Chief Santosh Sherchan informed that tourists have been barred from visiting the area for the time being citing safety reasons.

The area above Kagbeni is still covered with thick snow that may cause any tragic incident anytime, he added.

However, locals have dared coming to Lomanthang after the construction of a makeshift bridge over Kowang rivulet, Sherchan. "Though this is tourists season the dense snow blanketing the area has forced us to take the move for safety of visitors".

The snowfall continued for three days around a couple of months ago has caused a pile-up of snow in Kagbeni above area. Some seven tourists who were unable to return due to heavy snowfall in Lomanthang were rescued through helicopter a couple of weeks ago.

A big number of tourists from third countries come to visit Lomanthang to mug up beauty of peculiar terrain, historical palace, indigenous art and culture and natural landscape, according to ACAP sources.

Last year alone 4,100 tourists had visited Lomanthang. "Most of them are from third countries. Number of domestic tourists is nominal", said ACAP Mustang Chief Kuinkel.

Source: THT

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TIA operates service overnight; 30 international flights take off and land

Some 30 international flights have taken off and landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) since last night through this morning.

The TIA resumes services following the clearance of crash-landed airbus of Turkish Airlines from the runway of the only international airport of Nepal.

With the resumption of TIA service, the national flag carrier, Nepal Airlines, took off its first flight to New Delhi and returned Kathmandu from Delhi carrying 150 passengers, informed Nepal Civil Aviation Authority, Airport Office.

The airbus of same airlines had already been off to Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia and will fly for another destination after returning from Malaysia, Deputy Officer of the office, Keshab Bhattarai, told RSS.

The TIA which was disrupted for the past four days after Turkish Airlines´ plane grounded on runway on Wednesday morning resumed its service from 7.00 pm Saturday. RSS

Source: Republica

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