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At least 48 people have been killed and more than 1,000 injured in the second earthquake that hit Nepal on May 12, officials say.

At least 17 have also died in India.

The 7.3-magnitude earthquake has struck eastern Nepal, near Mount Everest, two weeks after more than 8,000 people died in a devastating quake.Nepal second earthquake May 2015

It hit near the town of Namche Bazaar and sent thousands of panicked residents on to the streets of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.

The April 25 quake’s magnitude was 7.8.

The latest quake struck at 12:35 Nepali time and was centered about 47 miles east of Kathmandu, in a rural area close to the Chinese border.

The quake was felt in northern India, Tibet and Bangladesh. India’s home ministry said 16 people had been killed in the state of Bihar, and one more in Uttar Pradesh. Officials in China said one person was confirmed dead in Tibet.

Rescue helicopters have been sent to districts east of Kathmandu that are believed to be worst hit.

Everest climbing route in Nepal is to be changed amid fears of an increased avalanche risk.

Nepal will change the path in March after a deadly collapse in 2014 killed 16 Sherpa guides – the worst single loss of life in expedition history.

The current route up the mountain has been in use since the 1990s.

Mountaineers will now take a more central route after Base Camp, avoiding the left side of the Khumbu Icefall, where last year’s accident occurred.

The fatal avalanche last year triggered a boycott by Sherpa climbers who demanded better wages and conditions.

Their protest at Base Camp led to the cancellation of all expeditions to Everest.

The Nepali government is seeking to improve safety at the start of the 2015 spring climbing season.

“We think the risk of avalanche in the left part of the Khumbu Icefall is growing and we are moving the route to the centre where there is almost no such danger,” said Ang Dorji Sherpa, chairman of the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee, an organization authorized to set the route of Everest expeditions.

Ropes and ladders had already been imported from countries including the UK and will be fixed into position along the new route, he added.Everest climbing routes

The central route up the mountain immediately after Base Camp is not actually new. It was the path used by mountaineers more than two decades ago.

In the 1990s, the route was changed to run up what is known as the “west shoulder” because it was shorter and easier to climb, even for inexperienced mountaineers.

The downside was that the avalanche risk there was greater.

“The route through the centre part will be difficult and time consuming but it will be relatively free from the risk of avalanche, as the ice cliffs and hanging glaciers [along the west shoulder] are comparatively far away from it,” said Ang Dorji Sherpa.


One of the demands of Sherpas during their protest last year was for the Nepali government to allow the use of helicopters to drop heavy equipment at Camp One – the next stop for climbers after leaving Base Camp.

This would free Sherpas from carrying heavy loads and reduce the frequency of their trips through treacherous parts of the route.

Porters, many of them from the Sherpa community, pass through the Khumbu Icefall 30-40 times during the climbing season, carrying heavy loads.

Foreign operators have sided with the Sherpas on this issue, but Nepali expedition operators disagree.

“Nepal’s law does not allow even rescue helicopters above base camp mainly because of the environmental fragility of the mountains and we agree with that provision,” Tika Gurung, an executive member of the Expedition Operators’ Association of Nepal.

The government has not agreed to any change on the use of helicopters, though it may hope that shifting the route will assuage some of the Sherpas’ anger.

Both foreign and Nepali expedition operators have welcomed the decision to move the climbing path.

Figures show nearly 40 climbers, most of them support staff of expedition teams, have died in the Khumbu Icefall.

Some 250 people in total have died trying to climb Mount Everest since it was first scaled in 1953.

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About half of expedition teams at Everest base camp are descending amid uncertainty over this year’s climbing season, after 16 guides were killed in an avalanche.

A row over local guides’ share of revenue from foreign climbers erupted after last week’s deadly accident, prompting some to threaten a boycott.

Sherpas also want better rescue and treatment facilities for guides.

If others descend, some fear it could effectively end plans to climb the world’s highest mountain this year.

Madhusudan Burlakoti, a tourism ministry official, hoped that some teams might still climb. Sherpas have been in talks over these issues with the Nepalese government.

More than 300 foreigners were preparing to climb Everest this year, but the tense aftermath of the avalanche that killed 13 Sherpas and left 3 missing presumed dead dashed hopes and left many climbers disturbed and shocked.

About 50 expedition teams had been at the base camp, with 31 intended for Everest.

About half of expedition teams at Everest base camp are descending amid uncertainty over this year's climbing season

About half of expedition teams at Everest base camp are descending amid uncertainty over this year’s climbing season

Some of the teams have chosen to go on trekking expeditions instead, while others are still waiting and watching.

The Nepalese government has assured teams that their climbing permits will remain valid for the next five years.

Last Friday’s avalanche was the single deadliest accident in modern mountaineering on the world’s highest peak.

It struck an area just above Everest base camp at 5,800m (19,000ft).

Sherpas can earn up to $8,000 in the three-month Everest climbing season – more than 10 times the average wage in Nepal, which remains one of Asia’s poorest nations.

However, it does not look so good when the government is earning millions of dollars each year in fees for climbing permits. Some guiding companies charge up to $60,000 per person.

The guides who lost their lives had climbed up the slope early in the morning to fix ropes for climbers and prepare the route.

The avalanche struck a passage called the Khumbu Icefall, which is riddled with crevasses and ice boulders that can break free without warning.

Although relatively low on the mountain, it is one of its most dangerous points – but there are no safer paths along the famous South Col route first scaled by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

Sherpas often make 20-25 round trips to carry kit and supplies to advanced camps, exposing themselves to greater risk.

Everest has been scaled by more than 3,000 climbers since 1953.

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At least six Sherpa guides are reported to have been killed after an avalanche on the slopes of Mount Everest.

The avalanche struck around 06:45 local time in an area known as the “popcorn field”, just above Everest base camp at an elevation of 19,000ft.

An official said four bodies had been found and two more were being dug out of the snow.

At least six Sherpa guides are reported to have been killed after an avalanche on the slopes of Mount Everest

At least six Sherpa guides are reported to have been killed after an avalanche on the slopes of Mount Everest

Everest is crowded ahead of peak season on the 8,850 m summit.

The Sherpa guides had climbed up the slope early in the morning to fix ropes for climbers and prepare the route for mountaineers when the avalanche hit, officials are quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

A number of others are thought to be missing.

More than 3,000 people have scaled Mount Everest since it was first conquered by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, but many have died in the attempt too.

Straddling Nepal and China, the world’s highest mountain has an altitude of 29,029ft (8,848 m).

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NASA has admitted it mistook a mountain in India for Mount Everest when it posted online a picture taken from space.

NASA initially said the photo – by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko – showed the world’s tallest summit.

The image was quickly picked up by a number of media outlets, but NASA removed it after a Nepalese expert spotted the error.

Everest, which is 8,848 m (29,028 ft) high, straddles the Nepal-China border.

“It is not Everest. It is Saser Muztagh, in the Karakoram Range of the Kashmir region of India,” a Nasa spokesman said.

“The view is in mid-afternoon light looking north-eastward,” the spokesman added.

NASA has admitted it mistook a mountain in India for Mount Everest when it posted online a picture taken from space

NASA has admitted it mistook a mountain in India for Mount Everest when it posted online a picture taken from space

NASA said that Yuri Malenchenko had taken the picture from the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this month.

The photo quickly spread on Twitter, triggering criticism from the Nepalese community.

Journalist Kunda Dixit, an authority on the Himalayas, tweeted: “Sorry guys, but the tall peak with the shadow in the middle is not Mt Everest.”

However, he himself first wrongly guessed that it was “Xixapangma in Tibet”.

On Thursday, Ron Garan – a US astronaut who lived aboard the ISS last year – tweeted: “We r still looking 4 a good view of illusive #Everest #FromSpace Apparently Yuri’s ISS pic’s not Everest It’s Saser Muztagh.”

A plane heading for the Everest region has crashed in Nepal’s capital, killing all 19 people on board, local officials say.

The plane, operated by Sita Air, came down minutes after take-off from Kathmandu. Officials said it crashed into a river bank and caught fire.

Sixteen passengers and three crew were on board the twin-engine prop plane.

Police and aviation officials, however, said that seven Britons, five Chinese nationals and seven Nepali nationals were on the plane, including the three Nepalese crew.

The plane, operated by Sita Air, came down minutes after take-off from Kathmandu

The plane, operated by Sita Air, came down minutes after take-off from Kathmandu

The cause of the crash is not yet known, however the general manager of Tribhuvan International Airport, Ratish Chandra Lal Suman, said in a statement that the plane had struck a bird.

He said air traffic control contacted the pilot after noticing an unusual manoeuvre minutes after take-off. The pilot said his plane had hit a vulture, the statement said.

The plane had been heading for Lukla, the hub for trekking in the Everest region.

Police spokesman Binod Singh told the AFP news agency that “the pilots seem to have tried to land it safely on the banks of the river but unfortunately the plane caught fire”.

Images showed burning wreckage at the crash site and dozens of rescue and security personnel.

British mountaineer Alan Hinkes said he had taken the flight from Kathmandu to Lukla many times and that problems usually occurred at the Lukla end.

“The landing strip in Lukla is a bit like an aircraft carrier with a mountain at the end of it, with a 1,000ft drop at the end of the runway. Normally crashes happen at that end,” he said.

He added: “It is not the safest place to fly, I must admit, but it is what you have to do to get into the mountains.”

Aviation accidents involving small aircraft are not uncommon in mountainous Nepal.

In May, 15 people were killed when a plane crashed trying to land at an airport in the north of the country.

And in September 2011, 19 people were killed when a Buddha Air plane crashed during a flight to view Mount Everest.

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