After the Nepal earthquake, is K-2 now the highest mountain on earth?
As the scientists from all over the world gather to analyze the impact of the 7.9 magnitude earthquake which struck Nepal on 25th April, many are intrigued to calculate the latest height of the highest mountain on earth. Mount Everest base camp was smothered badly from the gushing ice and rock filled avalanches right after the shocks, instantly leveling the makeshift camps and killing no fewer than 18 climbers and trekkers.
The latest satellite pictures were gathered from the Europe’s Sentinel-1A radar satellite which circled on top of Mount Everest in its orbit sending over latest images of the disaster. The preliminary data can not only help in the relief efforts but is providing valuable data to the geologists to analyze the overall change in the tectonics of the region.
Stephen Hicks, one of the leading Seismologists from the University of Liverpool United Kingdom said, “I think this will give us our clearest insight into the workings of the faults along the Himalayan front,”
From the earlier reports, a huge chunk of land measuring 75 miles (120 kilometers) in length and 30 miles (50 km) in width has risen to almost three feet rendering severe damage to the capital Kathmandu. There is also strong evidence that Mount Everest standing at 8,850 meters above sea level has been reduced by a few meters although the Himalayas are still believed to be rising every year by four centimeters.
Similar is the case with K-2, the second highest and only 239 meters short in height to Everest. Standing at 8611 meters above sea level, K-2 is contending close to Everest in its bid to be the highest mountain on earth.
The radar images testify that Everest has undergone a reduction in its height. The nonprofit Geoscience consortium UNAVCO believes that more and severe aftershocks are yet to come as the breakage in the tectonic plates has not yet reached the earth crust.
The total causalities have risen to 4000 as the relief and rehabilitation work is in progress. K-2, although shorter in height, is considered as one of the most difficult and dangerous mountains to climb. Everest, however, is relatively easier and less hazardous for climbing expeditions.