South Koreans among seven missing in Himalayan avalanche


KATHMANDU, Jan 18, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – An avalanche in Nepal’s Annapurna
region has left at least seven people missing, including four South Koreans
and three Nepalis, officials said Saturday.

The incident occurred at an altitude of around 3,230 metres (10,597 feet)
close to the base camp for Annapurna, one of the highest peaks in the
Himalayas, following heavy snowfall on Friday.

“We are getting reports that four South Koreans and three Nepalis are out
of contact after the incident. A rescue team was dispatched last night,” Mira
Dhakal of Nepal’s tourism department told AFP.

Local police chief Dan Bahadur Karki said poor weather was hampering
rescue efforts.

“The team is on its way. We also have a helicopter on standby to take off
if the weather improves,” Karki said.

Annapurna is an avalanche-prone and technically difficult mountain and has
a higher death rate than Everest, the world’s highest peak.

Education officials in South Korea said the four were part of a team of
volunteer teachers working with children in Nepal.

South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement that an emergency team
would be sent to Nepal and that the families of those missing had been

Thousands of trekkers visit the Annapurna region every year for its
stunning views of the Himalayas.

In 2014, a snowstorm killed about 40 people on the popular circuit, in one
of the biggest trekking tragedies to hit Nepal.