Avalanche-hit trekkers still missing


Pokhara, January 18

Seven tourists, including four Korean nationals, who went missing in an avalanche on a trekking route to Annapurna Base Camp yesterday morning, have still not been located.

Kaski District Police Office Chief SP Dan Bahadur Karki said four Korean nationals and three tourist guides and porters were caught in an avalanche on the ABC trekking route yesterday. “They’re said to be stranded between Hing Ku Cave and Deurali in Annapurna Rural Municipality-11,” said SP Karki, adding that a police team had been mobilised to find them.

“The search team is trying to determine where the trekkers were exactly when disaster hit them,” Karki said, adding that tourists and guides stranded in the base camp after the avalanche had been rescued by helicopters. “While 60 tourists and guides were flown to Chhomrong, 30 others were flown to Pokhara,” he said.

The missing four Korean tourists and five others from the same country were trekking to Annapurna Base Camp via Kathmandu-based Nepal Guide Trek Company. They had left for the base camp from Pokhara on Wednesday and were expected to reach ABC yesterday.

“A team of representatives from Chhomrong-based Century Youth Club, locals and hotel entrepreneurs have left for the disaster site to rescue them. But adverse weather with heavy snowfall have made things difficult,” said Annapurna Base Camp hotelier Jagan Gurung.

Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal Western Regional Association Pokhara Chairperson Hari Bhujel said the association has also dispatched a rescue team.

Annapurna Conservation Area Project Chhomrong Chief Netra Sharma said it was difficult to reach the incident site due to thick snow and bad road.

Gandaki Province Police Office said four Chinese nationals were also missing in Manang. “They had registered at Nishyang Rural Municipality-based Annapurna Conservation Area Project office on January 12. They haven’t crossed Thorang La and we don’t have any information about them,” said SP Dipak Regmi.

The missing Chinese tourists are: Huang Yiwin (passport number eg1129262), Cat Siau Ting (passport number eo5256480), Ma Qianli (passport number ec346710) and Anbd Jhad (passport number e6687005)

A version of this article appears in print on January 19, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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