Nepal snowstorm toll reaches 37; over 100 still missing

Nepal snowstorm toll reaches 37; over 100 still missing

The death toll in one of the worst snowstorms to hit Nepal's Himalayan mountain range reached 37 today with over a 100 trekkers still missing.

Till yesterday, a total of 30 people were declared dead.

After the rescue work resumed today, seven more bodies of foreigners were recovered from the popular Thorang La Pass. Three Indians have been killed in the snowstorm so far.

Three Nepali guides, two French trekkers and two unidentified foreigners were found dead in Thorang La Pass, Sagar Pandey, general secretary of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN), said today.

30 people among the 37 trekkers who died in the heavy snowfall are said to be foreigners, TAAN official said.

41 trekkers were rescued today with the assistance of Nepal Army and Nepal Police personnel from two different sites of the Himalayan range, the official said.

35 were rescued from Thorang La Pass while six from base camp of Mount Tukuche, he said.

Around 200 trekkers have been rescued from the Himalayas over the past three to four days.

The officials said that around 100 to 120 trekkers are still believed to be trapped in the high mountain range where rescue operations are very difficult as the area is still under the cover of heavy snow.

Some 60 to 70 foreign trekkers were stranded in Dolpo area, the famous tourist spot in Northern Nepal and 40 to 50 trekkers who were in Annapurna circuit have remained out of contact for the past a few days, Pandey said.

The trekkers who were in Dolpo area are mostly safe, due to the availability of hotels and other facilities but those in the Annapurna circuit are mostly without guides and their condition is unpredictable, he informed.

The rescue efforts will resume in the high Himalayan range tomorrow.

Pandey said that around one metre snowfall has been recorded in the Himalayas for the first time.

Now, as the snow started melting, the rescue work will be more easier, he added.
Meanwhile, four Indians among nearly 150 trekkers were rescued yesterday by a team of TAAN.

The incident occurred in Thorang Pass area which lies between border of Manang and Mustang districts at an altitude of 5,416 metres.

The sudden heavy snowfall in the area is attributed to Hudhud cyclone, that hit southern India recently.

Four helicopters have been mobilised for carrying rescue operations with the assistance of Nepal Army and Nepal Police officials as well as local trekking guides.