A unique day in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. For the first time in a long time, Mount Everest can be seen with the naked eye from the city.
Last week, several photos appeared online that we could not have taken in early 2020. The highest mountain in the world above sea level is clearly visible from Nepal. Located in the Himalayas, Mount Everest is normally not visible from the capital.
Visible Mount Everest good and bad news
The reason the mountain is visible is both good news and bad news. The good news is that the mountain is visible because air pollution in the city has fallen sharply. However, the reason for this is less good news: the entire country has come to a halt due to the COVID-19 virus. Vehicles are no longer allowed on the road, all industry is at a standstill. That ensures much less emissions and a clean, clear air over Nepal.
As a result, the number of hospital admissions for respiratory infections has also decreased. In Nepal, people are hospitalized regularly because they suffer from lung problems due to poor air quality. That number has also decreased in recent months, reports Snowbrains.
Most emissions in Kathmandu are caused by vehicle emissions. About seventy percent of all polluting particles on the street are caused by this. Although the clean air is now good news, the question is whether this will remain the case after the lockdown. People are expected to use public transport even less, for fear of contamination.
Nearly 200 kilometers away
One of the special photos of Mount Everest was taken from Chobar in Kathmandu. Photographer Abhushan Gautam was nearly 194 kilometers from the mountain when he shot the snapshot. According to Nepal Times making this photo was impossible two months ago. While it lasts, you can fully enjoy the special image of Mount Everest.
Mount Everest is Visible From Kathmandu, #Nepal for First Time in Living Memory https://t.co/ZTLhLHUb0z pic.twitter.com/WRhsItsLpl
– Tim Leffel (@timleffel) May 19, 2020
Air also cleaner in the Netherlands
Nepal is not the only country where the air is cleaner since the worldwide coronavirus outbreak. The concentration of pollutants in the Netherlands is 20 to 60 percent lower than a year ago, KNMI estimates. This has been studied by measurements of the Dutch space instrument Tropomi. Working from home means fewer cars drive. Some factories are down and fewer planes fly. “As a result, there is less emission of harmful substances, such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.”