Global Times special correspondent in India: Wen Zhu
In order to confirm whether the height of Mount Everest has changed after the 2015 Nepal earthquake, the Indian scientific community will soon embark on a project to “re-measure” the height of Mount Everest.
According to an NDTV report on January 25, Surveyor General of India Swarna Subba Rao told the media that the Survey of India will soon send an expedition team to Nepal to measure the height of Mount Everest, “many others countries also measured it (the height of Mount Everest). But the height given by *Archaeological Survey of India, even today, is universally accepted. That is 29,028 ft (8848 metres). Now we are re-measuring the height of Everest.” According to the report, the project is expected to start in two months, would take a month for observation and another 15 days for computation and finally declaration of data.
Mr. Rao also said that the Indian team has received all the necessary permits, and the relevant diplomatic procedures have also been completed. The Survey of India has already reached a consensus with Nepal to collaborate in principle. But the BBC reported that Ganesh Bhatta, Nepal’s survey department deputy chief, told that presently there was no agreement with India, and Nepal was in fact planning its own survey.
Nepal experienced a strong 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015. Satellite data show that Everest has undergone changes due to the impact of the strong earthquake, and scientists speculate that the height of Everest has dropped by around one meter. Mr Rao said it was still unclear whether the earthquake had affected Everest’s height. “We don’t know what happened; there’s been no confirmed report. Some believe it has shrunk, yet there are also others who believe it has grown.” But in any case, the position of Mount Everest as the world’s highest peak will not be shaken; its altitude is still much higher than the world’s second highest peak K2 (elevation 8611 meters). It is understood that, in order to make accurate measurements, surveyors need to carry out ground survey, GPS measurements and airborne high-altitude observations. ▲
*Translator’s note:印度考古调查局 is Archaeological Survey of India. But it is an error committed by the Chinese correspondent in translating “The Survey of India”, which is actually “印度测量局”