Seven missing after avalanche hits Nepalese trekking route

Trekkers From South Korea, China Go Missing After Avalanche Hits Nepal's Annapurna Circuit

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) - An avalanche swept a popular trekking route in Nepal's mountains, leaving at least four South Koreans and three Nepali guides missing, authorities said Saturday.

Acharya said efforts were being made to rescue the others.

Three Taiwanese mountaineers were thought to have survived an avalanche in the Himalayas' Annapurna massif while four South Koreans and their two Nepali guides were still missing, reports said Saturday (Jan. 18).

A rescue operation is under way, but poor weather conditions and plunging temperatures have hampered efforts.

Himalayan climbers have been pictured lining-up for helicopter rescues after deadly avalanches led authorities to order an evacuation of the slopes.

The ministry said five other South Korean members of their group were safe and taking shelter in a lodge.

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Two more South Koreans were due to arrive in Nepal on Sunday to help with the search, the country's foreign ministry said. Six members of the affected people's families accompanied the officials.

"They were descending yesterday after heavy snowfall stopped them from going higher". The five have now been transferred to a safe place, authorities said.

As his company rescued 80 to 100 trekkers, Mr. Sapkota said, there was nearly no trekker left in Annapurna base camp area.

The agency said South Korea has dispatched an emergency response team of two government workers along with officials from an education body and a tourism agency to Kathmandu to assist in the search operations.

Hundreds of foreign climbers head every year for the Himalayas in Nepal, which has eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest.

Media captionEverest Summit: What's it like to queue during climbing?

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