Indian rescuers to search for eight climbers missing in Himalayas

This file photo taken on November 13, 2015, shows a general view of the Himalayas from the hill-station of Kausani in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. (AFP)
Updated 02 June 2019

Indian rescuers to search for eight climbers missing in Himalayas

  • At least nine people have died on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest so far this year, the deadliest climbing season on the peak since 2015

MUMBAI: An Indian rescue team has been sent to search for eight missing climbers who had been trying to climb the summit of Nanda Devi, the second-highest peak in India, and were probably hit by a large avalanche, two state government officials said.
The officials said that they had been told that those missing include climbers from Britain, the United States, Australia and India.
The rescue effort began on Saturday when the climbers failed to return to base camp. It may take days to trek to the area where they were last known to have been, said Vijay Kumar Jogdanda, the top civil servant in Pithoragarh district of India’s mountainous Uttarakhand state.
Others in the group, who had turned back earlier, told officials late on Friday that their fellow climbers had not returned to base camp as planned, Sanjay Gunjiyal, the inspector general of police at the Uttarakhand State Disaster Response Force, told Reuters.
Rescue operations which began on Saturday were called off in the evening due to harsh weather conditions and would resume on Sunday, Gunjiyal said, adding that an air force helicopter will be used for aerial reconnaissance on Sunday. Helicopters may not be able to land anywhere in the area, given the terrain.
The climbers went missing on the Indian side of the Himalayas near the end of a climbing season that has been particularly deadly this year.
At least nine people have died on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest so far this year, the deadliest climbing season on the peak since 2015.
Indian and international news reports said that the team was led by British guide Martin Moran. On the Facebook page of his Moran Mountain company, the last public entry appears to be on May 22.
It says that the Nanda Devi team had reached their second base camp at 4,870 meters, their home for the next week.
“After a recce of the route they will be making a summit attempt on an unclimbed peak at 6477m. In the words of (US rock climbing pioneer) Royal Robbins, ‘A first ascent is a creation in the same sense as is a painting or a song’. We wish them all the very best of luck and an incredible climb!“


Amazon indigenous leaders accuse Brazil of ‘genocide’ policy

Updated 18 January 2020

Amazon indigenous leaders accuse Brazil of ‘genocide’ policy

  • Hundreds of elders gathered this week at Pairacu, deep in the rainforest, to form a united front against Bolsonaro’s environmental policies
  • “We do not accept mining on our lands, loggers, illegal fishermen or hydroelectricity. We are opposed to anything that destroys the forest,” a leader said

PIARACU: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s pledge to open up the Amazon to mining companies was tantamount to “genocide,” indigenous leaders said Friday at a meeting to oppose the government’s environmental policies.
Hundreds of elders gathered this week at Pairacu, deep in the rainforest, to form a united front against Bolsonaro’s environmental policies, which have seen deforestation in the jungle nearly double since the Brazilian leader came to power a year ago.
“Our aim was to join forces and denounce the fact that the Brazilian government’s political policy of genocide, ethnocide and ecocide is under way,” the group said in a draft manifesto drawn up at the end of the summit.
“We do not accept mining on our lands, loggers, illegal fishermen or hydroelectricity. We are opposed to anything that destroys the forest,” the text said.
They also said that “government threats and hate speech” had encouraged violence against Amazon communities and demanded punishment for the murder of indigenous leaders.
At least eight indigenous leaders were killed last year.
Brazil’s leading indigenous chief, Raoni Metuktire, said Thursday he would personally travel to the capital Brasilia to present the meeting’s demands to Congress.
“Over there, I’m going to ask Bolsonaro why he speaks so badly about the indigenous peoples,” said the 89-year-old leader of the Kayapo tribe.
Preliminary data collected by the National Institute for Space Research showed an 85 percent increase in Amazon deforestation last year when compared to 2018.