Scientists believe the 2015 Nepal Earthquake may have lowered Mount Everest's peak
They believe the world’s highest peak may have been lowered due to the impact of the 7.8 magnitude quake, which killed nearly 9,000 people and injured more than 20,000 more.
Now scientists are preparing for a study trip to the mountain to determine whether the mountain has indeed shrunk from its recorded height of 29,029 feet.
Mount Everest’s claim as the highest point on Earth will not be in doubt, however, even if it has indeed shrunk.
Scientists believe the mountain will only be minimally smaller than its official height – by at most an inch and possibly as little as a millimetre.
Thousands were killed and tens of thousands injured in the 2015 earthquake
India's surveyor general Swarna Subba Rao said a team would head to Mount Everest in two months for an operation lasting several weeks.
He said: “We are sending an expedition to Mount Everest. Everest height was declared, if I remember correctly, in 1855. Many others also measured it. But the height given by the Survey of India, even today, is taken as the correct height. It is 29,028 feet.
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“We are remeasuring it. Two years have passed since the major Nepal earthquake. After that, there is a doubt in the scientific community that it is shrinking. That is one of the reasons. Second reason is, it helps in scientific studies, plate movements etc.”
At least 24 people were killed on Everest when the 2015 Nepal earthquake sparked avalanches
Avalanches triggered by the earthquake killed 24 people on Everest two years ago – the deadliest ever to take place on the mountain.
Mount Everest may have shrunk by as much as an inch due to the 2015 earthquake
Shocking amateur footage filmed by one of the survivors showed a wall of snow sweeping across the South Base Camp, flattening tents and killing the majority of the disaster's victims on the mountain.
Around 200 other climbers were stranded higher in the mountain with their routes down blocked by snow. They were forced to spend hours in the freezing cold waiting for rescue.