1.1 inches have been knocked off Mount Everest’s height of 29,029 feet after the earthquake in Nepal on April 25 2015 that killed more than 7,000 people.
The difference would have been even greater had the mountain been directly above the fault line – the capital of Kathmandu rose at least three feet, which perhaps is why the damage there is so severe.
The change was detected by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1A radar satellite one day after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
UNAVCO, a non-profit geoscience research consortium, gave the reason as relief of strain in the Earth’s crust. The fault did not break all the way to the surface, so strain could still exist, leading to more earthquakes in the future.
In coming weeks, scientists will pore over this data as well as more that will be garnered. The data is immediately beneficial because it can help guide relief efforts by showing which areas were damaged. Landslides have sometimes resulted.
Authorities have announced that there is no hope of recovering anybody alive from rubble one week after the quake.
As if a somewhat shorter Everest and 7,000+ dead were not enough, this act of God caused the cancellation of the World’s Highest Dinner Party.
Under the direction of Sat Bains, who has two Michelin stars, the plan was to serve a full meal on Everest’s North Col, more than 23,000 feet high, which would have earned the attentions of the Guinness Book of Records.
It had been hoped that the venture would raise £100,000 for Community Action Nepal.
The quake triggered an avalanche that killed at least 18 people at Base Camp, exactly a week after the first anniversary of what was then Everest’s worst ever accident – the death of 16 Sherpas at the Khumbu Icefall.
Andrew is one of the senior writers at Mountain IQ. A native of South Africa, Andrew has hiked and climbed all over the world. His favourite destination is Nepal and his most memorable hike was to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro!