Rescuers in Nepal Sunday found 12 more bodies, including those of three Indian trekkers, from the Annapurna Circuit in central Nepal, taking the toll from last Tuesday’s snowstorm to 39.
Rescue workers said they had recovered 30 bodies, spotted two while seven others, who went missing, are presumed dead. The bodies of two Indian trekkers were seen in Fu Village Development Committee in Manang district but could not be pulled out due to bad weather.
The body of another Indian trekker was found in Thorang Fedi, Manang. The victim has been identified as Debasis De, 53, of Calcutta. The identity of the two other Indian trekkers has not been established yet, said Chief District Officer of Manang District, Devendra Raj Lamichhane.
A Nepal Army team recovered the bodies of nine trekkers from Syngde in Mustang and airlifted them to Jomsom. Eight trekkers had gone missing in Manang.
“The Army’s special taskforce will resume search and rescue operation in Fu and Nar VDCs Monday,” said Lamichhane.
Locals, who are helping the Army’s team in the search and rescue mission, fear that bodies might have been buried under up to 35 feet of snow.
“It is very difficult to recover the bodies but we will make our last efforts Monday,” Lamichhane said citing rescue personnel.
On Sunday, 50 trekkers, including 10 foreigners, were rescued from Manang, 10 from Chhakra in Dolpa and eight from Hidden Valley in Myagdi. According to the country’s tourism ministry, a total of 407 trekkers, including 226 foreigners, have been rescued so far.
Officials in Nepal say that still five dozen foreign trekkers were missing and most of them were heading from Mananag to Mustang district for trekking. But the number of Nepalis missing in last week’s deadly avalanche and blizzard is not known yet as Nepali trekkers need not register their names.
Over 356 foreign trekkers had left for adventurous trekking for Annapurna Circuit whose registrations are with Annapurna Conservation Area Office and among them 296 have made contact with the office and their respective tour offices. The Annapurna region is world famous for trekking and this season is considered for the best. After the deadly avalanche and blizzard, Nepal has temporarily banned trekking in that area.
(Anil Giri can be contacted at email@example.com)