Avalanche in Nepal Leaves at Least 7 Missing

Avalanche in Nepal Leaves at Least 7 Missing

KATHMANDU, Nepal — An avalanche that swept a popular Himalayan trekking route has left at least four South Koreans and three Nepali guides missing, the authorities said on Saturday.

The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the avalanche hit at an altitude of 10,600 feet before noon on Friday along the popular Annapurna circuit trekking route, which encircles Mount Annapurna in Nepal.

Rescuers plucked 30 trekkers who had been trapped by the avalanche blocking the trail and flew them to safety. An official with Nepal’s Department of Tourism, Meera Acharya, said that at least one Chinese national injured in the avalanche had been rescued by helicopter. Efforts were being made to rescue others.

Weather conditions were poor, with temperature dropping in the past two days, making the operation more difficult.

The missing trekkers, two women in their 30s and 50s and two men in their 50s, were teachers who were in Nepal for volunteer work, the ministry said, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

The ministry said that five other South Korean members of the same team were safe and taking shelter in a lodge.

In October 2018, at least eight climbers, including a South Korean world-record holder, were killed after a violent snowstorm ripped through their camp in the Himalayas.

It was the deadliest accident to hit Nepal’s climbing community since 2015, when an avalanche set off by a series of earthquakes pummeled climbers on Mount Everest, killing 18 people. The quake killed nearly 9,000 people and injured about 5,900.

In April 2014, an avalanche on the south side of the mountain killed 16 Nepalese passing through the Khumbu Icefall, a stretch of ice towers strung with ropes and ladders.

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