Cyclone Fani fallout blows tents off Everest

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 03 2019 10:41 PM

Stranded passengers look at a flight information board displaying canceled flights following Cyclone Fani, at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, India, Friday, May 3. Rupak De Chowdhuri, Reuters

High winds blamed on Cyclone Fani more than 900 kilometers away blew tents off the side of Mount Everest on Friday, officials said.

Fallout from the deadly storm, which hit India's Bay of Bengal coast on Friday, spread across South Asia — including the world's highest mountain.

The monster storm was not predicted to go near Nepal, but the country's Meteorological Forecasting Division predicted effect from Fani would cause snow, rain and strong winds in the country. 

About 20 tents at Everest's Camp 2, at 6,400 meters (21,000 feet), were affected.

"Very strong winds blew the tents off the mountain but no-one was hurt," Ishwori Poudel, general secretary of the Expedition Operators Association, told AFP. 

With the spring climbing season looming, several teams have postponed acclimatisation on Everest fearing the bad weather. 

"The effects of that storm mean we are likely to see significant snowfall and high winds on the mountain," expedition company Climbing the Seven Summits wrote on its blog. 

The company said its climbers would wait at base camp until the storm has passed. 

The Nepalese government has issued a warning to trekking and climbing companies to ensure the safety of tourists, and cautioned helicopters against flying.

The thousands of climbers who flock to Nepal each year to try eight of the world's 14 highest peaks provide a lucrative industry for the impoverished South Asian country.

Nepal has issued a record 377 permits to climb Everest this year.