Nepal earthquake: Singapore Everest team to wait for a week to decide whether to continue trek to summit

SINGAPORE- The Everest team from Singapore will hold off their plans for seven days before deciding whether to continue their trek to the summit.

Speaking to The Straits Times on Sunday, team captain Muhammad Hilwan Mohamed Idrus said their trekking operator in Nepal will advise the team if they can proceed but much will depend on the situation on the ground.

A deadly avalanche in the mountain was triggered following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on Saturday.

Seventeen bodies have since been recovered on Mount Everest base camp after the avalanche, making it the deadliest disaster in the history of mountaineering on the world's highest peak.

The team of four Singaporeans attempting to scale Mount Everest to fly the Singapore flag and mark SG50 are safe. Mr Hilwan is in Singapore and could not make the trek because he had suffered a stroke last year.

He said he was told during a brief whatsapp conversation with his team mates that they are now walking around their site at the Everest base camp to survey the damage. "They see the devastation around them," he said. Their Wi-Fi connection was cut off before he could get any further details from them. They have not been contactable by satellite phone for now because they had lent it to search-and-rescue teams.

The Singapore team set out to attempt to scale Mount Everest to fly the Singapore flag and mark SG50, and trained for about five years for it.

The death toll from the quake has passed 2,000, officials in the Himalayan nation and neighbouring countries said on Sunday.

jalmsab@sph.com.sg