By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) - At least seven people including five foreign nationals went missing after an avalanche hit the trekking route in central Nepal’s Annapurna mountain range, local media reported on Saturday.
Two local guides and five foreign nationals including four South Koreans and one Chinese national who were trekking in the Annapurna Base Camp have been out of contact since Friday afternoon, reported The Kathmandu Post, a local daily in Nepal’s capital.
The Annapurna circuit trek is a famous trekking route some 230 kilometers (145 miles) long.
"We have been informed that four out of nine Korean nationals who were trekking to Annapurna Base Camp have gone out of contact," the daily quoted Binod Sharma Ghimire, deputy inspector general of Gandaki police, as saying.
One Chinese national who was traveling with a Nepali porter and two Nepali guides from another team are also out of contact, he added.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday also confirmed four of their citizens were missing after an avalanche hit the circuit trekking route, according to South Korean News Agency Yonhap.
While four are missing, five other South Korean members of the crew are safe, the agency quoted ministry officials as saying.
The missing trekkers were teachers who were in Nepal for volunteer work.
South Korean has requested that local authorities launch a search of the area, but local media said this is impractical as heavy snowfall and harsh weather conditions blocked routes and disrupted communication systems in the Annapurna region.