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Nepal: Rescuers search for missing S. Korean climbers

Nepal: Rescuers search for missing S. Korean climbers
Bad weather conditions, treacherous terrain hamper rescue efforts that continue for 3rd day

By Deepak Adhikari

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AA) - Rescuers on Monday continued their search and rescue operations for four South Koreans and their three Nepalese guides, who went missing after an avalanche hit a popular trekking trail in Nepal's Himalayan region, an official said.

The group of trekkers was struck by an avalanche on Friday as they were trekking along the Annapurna trail in north-central Nepal.

The rescue operations have been hampered by bad weather conditions and treacherous mountain terrain, said Arjun Paudel, general secretary of Korea Tours and Trekking Operators Association.

"There's snow everywhere. It's up to five feet high. The pilots reported another avalanche on Sunday in the area, which disrupted the rescue," he told Anadolu Agency.

Paudel said the rescuers were trying to land below the site and clear the snow to search for the missing trekkers.

The site lies at an altitude of 3,200 meters (10,499 feet) en route to the base camp of Mount Annapurna, one of the world's highest mountains.

Paudel said the avalanche swept through the area and wiped out a section of the trail.

Meanwhile, around 150 trekkers -- including 90 foreigners -- were moved to safety at the weekend, according to Mira Acharya, a tourism department official.

Paudel said experts from South Korea have used drones to locate the missing trekkers.

Meanwhile, four Chinese nationals also went missing on Sunday in Thorong La, a mountain pass in the Annapurna trekking route, said a conservation group overseeing the trail.

Thousands of foreign trekkers visit Nepal during the spring and autumn season, when clearer weather conditions allow them to travel to the mountainous areas.

source: News Feed
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