Nepal offers relief to kin of Sherpa guides killed in avalanche

Kathmandu, April 22: Four days after a deadly avalanche on the slopes of Mt Everest claimed 13 lives, the Nepalese government Tuesday announced relief packages for the families of those Sherpa guides killed in the mishap.

The families of the victims will be provided with a sum of $15,789 as insurance, Nepal’s tourism ministry said.

The government had previously set the amount at $1,052 per person, but the issue was raised at a meeting of stakeholders hosted by the tourism ministry Tuesday, Xinhua reported.

“The families of the Sherpas who lost their lives in the recent avalanche will be given the renewed amount as insurance,” Madhusudan Burlakoti, a joint secretary in the ministry, said.

The medical insurance for the injured Sherpa guides was also increased from $3,157 to $4,157.

An avalanche at an elevation of nearly 5,900 metres Friday killed at least 13 Sherpas while three others are still missing. According to local officials, this is the single worst accident in record to hit climbers of the highest peak in the world.

The soaring Himalayas are a high-value destination for climbers all over the world. Nepal has eight of the world’s 14 peaks of over 8,000-metres in height and these attract hundreds of mountaineering enthusiasts.

More than 300 climbers are currently at Mt Everest’s base camp after having obtained permission from the Nepalese government to scale the 29,028-foot-high peak this season.

Sherpas are an ethnic group from the most mountainous region of Nepal, high in the Himalayas. They are skilled mountaineers and are known to be experts in their local terrain.

They serve as guides to climbers and are hired for mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas.