Police have found more than 50 bodies, including those of six foreigners, in Nepal's popular Langtang trekking region following last weekend's devastating earthquake, a senior local official said Sunday.
Another 100 foreign tourists are still feared to be missing in Langtang in the wake of the 7.9-magnitude-quake that struck on April 25 and claimed more than 7,000 lives.
The death toll in the quake climbed to 7,250, including those in Langtang, said government administrator Gautam Rimal. Nepal's Tourist Police reported that a total of 57 foreigners have been killed in the April 25 quake, and 109 are still missing, including 12 Russians and nine Americans.
Uddav Prasad Bhattarai, chief officer of Rasuwa district that forms part of Langtang, said the bodies had been found in different places, including buried under debris, in recent days in the region hit by a quake-triggered avalanche.
Mountain guides and climbers stand beside camping and climbing gear piled up after an avalanche hit the area, at Everest Base Camp in Nepal. (AP Photo/File)
"We have pulled out 51 bodies from the Langtang area so far, six of them are tourists. We estimate that about 100 foreigners might still be missing in the area," Bhattarai said.
"Our priority was to get the survivors out. We rescued over 350 people, about a half of them were tourists or guides," he told AFP in Rasuwa north of Kathmandu
"We believe we have rescued most of the survivors now. We will now bring down the dead bodies."
The quake wreaked a trail of death and destruction when it erupted around midday eight days ago, reducing much of Kathmandu to rubble.
It also triggered a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 18 people including foreign climbers.
Tourism department chief Tulsi Gautam said Sunday that so far the bodies of 54 foreigners have been recovered nationwide.
EU diplomats said on Friday that around 1,000 European citizens were still unaccounted for in Nepal, although many of those were thought to be safe but out of contact.
Rescuers carry a sherpa injured by an avalanche that flattened parts of Everest Base Camp. (AFP Photo)
Twelve stranded trekkers, including an Indian national, were rescued on Sunday from Makalu Base Camp in eastern Nepal.
Those rescued from the mountain area in the Sankhuwasabha district include three Spanish, three Nepalese, two Belgian two Austrian and one each from India and Andorra, according to the Nepal Police statement.
They have been flown to Kathmandu on a helicopter as they were stranded in the mountain.
They were going for a trekking in the base camp area and were rescued due to fear of avalanche.
Makalu is the fifth highest mountain in the world at 8,463 metres. It is located in the Mahalangur Himalayas, 19km southeast of Mount Everest, on the border between Nepal and China.
Shortly after the earthquake last week, 22 trekkers were killed in the Everest base camp as they were hit by avalanche.
(With inputs from AFP, AP and PTI)