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Still No Information On Two Missing Malaysians

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KATHMANDU: There has been no new development or information on two Malaysian trekkers reported missing prior to the deadly earthquake of 7.9 magnitude that hit the Himalayan region on April 25.

Malaysian embassy’s councilor/charge d’affairs Fadli Adilah said until late evening yesterday, the search and rescue team and Nepali police did not receive any further information on both of them.

Businessman Dennis Lee Thian Poh, 47, was reported missing while trekking from Khopra Danda to Deurali in northern-central Nepal on April 5, while Sai Jaya Raj Anthony, 37, has gone missing since April 21.

Anthony’s family had informed the embassy that he had entered Nepal via New Delhi, and the last communication received from him was from Langtang, a popular trekking site after Annapurna and Everest.

Fadli said he had constantly been communicating with the Nepali authorities who informed him that there were several avalanches and landslides reported in both areas even before the earthquake.

Nepal is a popular destination for Malaysian climbers, especially to the Annapurna Ranch, Lantang Ranch and Everest Ranch.

In a related development, undeterred by the deadly earthquake which claimed the lives of more than 6,500 people so far, a five-member Everest team from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in Skudai, Johor are still hoping that they can go ahead with their plan to scale the world’s highest peak.

Team leader Azim Afif said they were determined although they were forced to call off their expedition after the Nepali authorities banned any trekking activities following the death of 18 climbers due to an avalanche triggered by the earthquake.

He told Bernama that they would return immediately to the Everest Base Camp (EBC) once the authorities there lift the ban.

The group arrived at the Thibhuvan International Airport, here, late Friday night from Lukla in a specially chartered helicopter after being advised by UTM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Wahid Omar.

Azim, 27, when met here at the airport said they were still determined to complete their expedition after the group’s first attempt in April last year was cancelled, following the death of 18 sherpas (mountain guides) due to a major avalanche.

The team members are Azim’s wife, Anis Zulaika Zabani, 25, Jamhuri Jumari, 21, Farul Aidib Mohammad Yusoff, 21, and Azham Afzanizam Hamzah, 27.

They arrived in Lukla on March 28 and have been acclimatising themselves to the mountain conditions at the base camp when the earthquake triggered an avalanche.

– BERNAMA

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