Nepal: Annapurna Circuit death toll rises to 32
Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit death toll has risen to 32 after the hiking route was hit by major snowstorms and avalanches earlier this week, officials say.
Mountain rescue teams are out for the fourth day, searching for missing trekkers, and it is feared more bodies lie beneath the snow.
A total of 282 people have been rescued from the mountain ranges in what is Nepal’s worst-ever trekking disaster.
Some climbers have accused their guides of abandoning them.
A spokesman for the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal told the AFP news agency the focus of the rescue operation was now geared towards the recovery of bodies.
The task of the authorities is made more complicated because there are thousands of climbers in Nepal at this time of the year.
Rescuers have only limited resources and most of the missing and dead are believed to be at heights of around 16,000ft.
Nepalese, Israeli, Canadian, Indian, Slovak and Polish trekkers are among the dead.
Many survivors have been left with severe frostbite and will have to have limbs amputated.
On October 18, helicopters were again searching the area around a high mountain pass on the Annapurna Trail, where most of the deaths occurred.
Nepal earns huge revenues from the tens of thousands of trekkers and climbers who flock to the Himalayas every year.
This has been a particularly deadly year for Nepal’s trekking and mountaineering industry.
An avalanche on Mount Everest in April killed 16 Sherpa guides and resulted in a significant drop in the number of expeditions to the world’s highest peak.
The latest disaster comes at the height of the trekking period.
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