Kathmandu -- Heavy snowfall and storm have hampered hundreds of tourists and trekkers in Mt. Qomolangma region with most of them stranded at the base camp, 5,365 meters on Tuesday.

According to Nishant Shrestha, field officer of Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee at Namche, Solukhumbu, more than 300 persons who were on their way to Lukla, were affected by the snowfall in the region.

Arun Pokharel, senior officer at the Mountaineering Department of the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, said that tourists and trekkers couldn't proceed to their destinations due to the storm and snowfall in the upper part of Mt. Qomolangma region including the base camp.

It is a very unusual phenomenon and the Himalayan range hadn't witnessed this kind of snowfall this season, said the general manager of Himalaya Expeditions, Satish Neupane.

Senior meteorologist at department of metrology and hydrology Keshav Das Shrestha said that unusual snowfall in the Himalayan range is a direct effect of climate change.

Comment: Global warming is apparently causing unprecedented snowfall and freezing temperatures all over. If it is heat, it is global warming. If it is floods, it is global warming. If it is drought, it is global warming. If it is snow and freezing temperatures, it is global warming.

I am surprised that the U.S. government has not blamed 911 on global warming. Or perhaps the Israelis attacked Gaza because of global warming. Ah, yes - The Isralis will attack Iran to stop global warming. They will paint all their tanks and missiles white to increase the albedo effect and save the planet.

Shrestha also said more than 100 persons were waiting for flights to return to Kathmandu as none of the airways conducted flights to Lukla on Tuesday.

"Bad weather has caused the cancellation of flights to the Everest (Qomolangma) region including Lukla," an official at the Tribhuvan International Airport in the capital Kathmandu said.

According to Pokharel, there were unconfirmed reports from the Kanchanjunga area of eastern Nepal, where a group of Spanish tourists couldn't leave the base camp due to heavy snowfall but details were not forthcoming till the evening.

A group of 60 persons including 45 foreigners have been stranded at Gorak Shep area, 5148 meters, of the region after heavy rain and snow blocked their way to the base camp.

The group is heading towards the base camp for the Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon, slated for May 29 at the base camp, the organizer of the annual adventure event said.

Most of the group members were stuck at the Gorak Shep, he added. Officials at the Asian Trekking said that they failed to contact the trekkers due to unavailability of phone network in the area.

The Qomolangma region witnessed snowfall from May 22. According to Pokharel, 156 climbers conquered Mt. Qomolangma from Nepali side in this season.

Source: Xinhua