Assam pilgrims missing in Nepal

Avalanche on Everest slopes, two mountaineering teams from State descend to safety below Base Camp


GUWAHATI, April 25: Several tourists from Assam on pilgrimage to Nepal, have been reported missing in Saturday’s devastating earthquake that rocked the neighbouring country, jolts of which were felt in many parts of India, including Assam.

The Assam government, till the filing of this report, could not compile the exact number of people from the State missing in the Himalayan country.

Twelve people from Hengerabari area of the city were part of one team. Ten of them were stated to be missing.

“They had reached Nepal at around 11 am today after which they checked in a hotel. Two of them – Mula th and Golap Deka – had come out of the hotel to have tea. That is the time when the quake occurred. The other ten members are stated to be missing. Mula and Golap are in touch,” said a family source.

Part of the hotel in which the pilgrims were staying had reportedly collapsed under impact of the quake and rescue operations were on to locate the missing people.

A total of 26 pilgrims from Assam were part of the team taken by tour operator Jatra. Sources in Jatra said that of the 26, fifteen are safe while two others injured. “Contacts could not be established with 9 pilgrims,” said the source.

Some of the missing pilgrims were identified as Bhumika Das, Padma Mazumdar, Ri Das, Bhanita Deka, Jayshree Bora and Dalimi Baishya.

The district administration has desigted a nodal officer to coordite relief and rescue of missing persons from Assam in Nepal.

Kamrup Deputy Commissioner M Angamuthu said information has been received from 24 people from Assam, including mountaineers, who are in Nepal. “We are taking necessary measures for their rescue and relief,” the DC said.

A Home department official said it is not possible to tell the number of people from Assam currently in Nepal and their status. The Assam State Disaster Magement Authority has opened a helpline (1070) asking people to provide the details of persons currently in Nepal.

A team of 11 mountaineers from Assam, on a mission to scale Mount Everest, is reported to be safe.

Latest reports said about four of the pilgrims have already been rescued and operations were on to locate and rescue the others. Some pilgrims from Assam were also injured in the devastation caused by the quake.

Another team of 11 mountaineers from the state, camping at the base camp to scale Mount Everest, has been stated to be safe.

Functiories of the Assam Mountaineering Association informed media here that the team was away on a practice track when quake hit the area.

Parts of the base camp were damaged, but the team remained unhurt as they were away at the practice track.

The Assam team has returned to a lower point from the base camp for the time being till repairs are carried out.

“We are safe and are on our way down from the Base Camp to a place called Gorcep,” Pray Bordoloi, one of the members of the team, said.

The team comprises nine climbers and two magers and has been in the Base Camp since April 18.

The team had gone out for acclimatising exercises on Saturday morning and was above the Base Camp when the earthquake occurred, triggering avalanches on the slopes of Everest.

Another climber, Moromi Das, who was part of a 10-member trekking team from India is also safe. She is a resident of Kharguli. They are at Norula presently.

Some pilgrims from Chandmari in Guwahati were also stated to be “missing” in Nepal.

Assam Police special branch has also opened a helpline desigting IGP Hiren th as the nodal officer. The helpline numbers are 9435552203/ 8749860803.

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