At least 24 people, several of them foreign tourists including an Indian, have been feared killed in avalanches in Nepal.
The avalanches were triggered by heavy rain and snowfall in Manang and Mustang districts bordering China.
“We have managed to recover four bodies till now and there are reports that several others are dead. The identity of those killed are yet to be verified,” said Baburam Bhandari, chief district officer of Mustang.
The tourists, including some Nepalis, were trekking near Thorong Pass in the district when they were trapped in the avalanche.
Reports say the deceased in Mustang include three Polish, three Israeli, one Vietnamese and nine Nepalis. But district officials refused to confirm the identities of those killed.
Five others, including four Canadians and one Indian, were killed in a separate avalanche in nearby Manang district. Their identities are yet to be ascertained.
“The avalanche took place between Phu village and the Kongla Pass bordering China. We have not been able to recover the bodies due to inclement weather,” said Devendra Lamichane, chief district officer of Manang.
Three Nepalis were killed in another avalanche near Naar village of the same district on Tuesday. Dead bodies of two victims were recovered till late Wednesday afternoon.
“We are facing difficulty in recovering the bodies as the avalanche took place at a high and remote altitude. Snowfall is also hampering our work,” stated Lamichane.
Nineteen injured have been rescued in Mustang and efforts are underway to rescue over hundred trekkers stranded in the region due to snow and rainfall.
Weather experts here say heavy rainfall across Nepal and snowfall in upper Himalayan reaches is due to the effect of Cyclone Hudhud which hit Andhra Pradesh and Odisha this week.
This is the second major avalanche related disaster in Nepal this year. In April, 16 Nepali mountain guides were killed in an avalanche above Everest Base Camp.