Trekking Deaths in NepalNewsflash

© rockcat

Around 20 people on a trekking route in Nepal have died with more feared dead following severe blizzards on Wednesday 15th October. Dozens have been reported missing in the storms and subsequent avalanches which occurred over the Annapurna Circuit of Central Nepal.

On the Annapurna circuit.  © rockcat
On the Annapurna circuit.
© rockcat

In the aftermath of the avalanche tragedy on Everest in April this year (UKC Article) - in which 16 Sherpas were killed - this is the second disaster to strike the Himalayan mountain range in 2014. 

Despite an initial rescue effort succeeding in saving 22 people, operations were ceased by the Nepali police and army officials later in the day due to an accumulation of snow and avalanche debris deemed too treacherous to access.

Due to the month of October normally offering prime conditions for trekking in Nepal, almost half of the people missing are believed to be foreign trekkers exploring the region in its peak trekking season.

A Facebook page has been set up to help affected families and share information on the disaster.

More information to follow as the story unfolds.

Sources: BBC News, NYTimes


UPDATE: Friday 17th October, 1:40pm

Recent reports suggest that the death toll is now over 30, after rescuers were eventually able to access the affected areas and recover bodies and injured survivors situated on the descent of the Thorong La pass. Small groups of trekkers have been rescued by helicopters deployed in the area, some being trapped in basic shelters and others seeking refuge in camps and hostels. The causes of death in the majority of cases are reported to be exposure and fatal injury due to avalanche conditions. Among the dead are Nepalese, Canadian, Polish, Israeli, Indian and German nationals. The rescue mission will continue to widen as trekkers and local people remain missing.

A cyclone which recently hit Northern India has been blamed for causing the storms which occurred on Tuesday. 

Sources: The Guardian, BBC News



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16 Oct, 2014
"almost half of the people missing are believed to be foreign trekkers " Does that mean more than half are believed to be locals :o( A terrible year for sherpa deaths.
17 Oct, 2014
The death toll seems to be rising, terribly sad, they seem to have been caught out by a sudden change in direction of travel of the cyclone which was forecast to hit far western Nepal away rather than the west and the Annapurna Himal. The Sherpa are predominantly from the Khumbu region in Eastern Nepal, the locals among the number that were killed are likely to be Manang Bas or Dolpa people if they are actually residents of the higher altitudes of Annapurna (which is in the west) rather than Sherpa, although of course guides and porters could've been from any region as Annapurna is such a popular trekking area.
17 Oct, 2014
I heard one of the survivors, a British policeman, on R4 this morning (about 7.15). He talked about following people because he thought they knew where they were going, only they didn't. He then how they started walking, him in front, from one pole to another, until they got to safety, keeping ten yards apart. He thought he was leading about ten people, but when they reached safety, he turned round and realised there was now nearer 150 people snaking along behind him. Which gives an idea of the scale of this.
17 Oct, 2014
Seems the cyclone was not so 'sudden' and many new it was coming for some time... why was it still so terrible... "Despite all the confusion about how many people may have been killed and how many are still missing, one thing that is clear is that even though many news reports, including the Times, have called the weather event a “freak snowstorm,” it was anything but. Cyclone Hudhud was a Category 4 hurricane with a storm track that was predicted by multiple weather services, including NOAA."
17 Oct, 2014
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