Survey: 4 parts of Everest trekking route damaged by quake

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Four sections of the trekking route to Mount Everest were damaged by the devastating earthquake in April, an assessment commissioned by Nepal’s government has found.

Engineering firm Miyamoto International said 17 percent of the accommodations on the route were damaged.

Kit Miyamoto of the agency said the review, funded by the World Bank and released in Kathmandu on Friday, was a rapid assessment and a detailed study would have to be done by the government after the monsoon season because the heavy rains could cause more landslides.

He said they trekked parts of the route and flew on helicopters to make their assessment before heavy rainfall.

The route from Lukla airport to Everest base camp takes about a week of hiking and gets about 40,000 Western trekkers every year. A favorable assessment allows potential visitors to get travel insurance — a major concern for those planning a trip during the popular autumn tourist season.

Chief of Nepal’s Tourism Department Tulsi Gautam said the damages would be repaired soon after the end of monsoon rainfall and before tourists arrive. He said the government has already allocated funds for the repairs.

Trekking and mountaineering operators criticized the firm’s earlier assessment of Mount Annapurna trekking routes as being done in haste and without consultations. But the government accepted the assessment.

The earthquake in April killed some 8,900 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of houses.

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