Harsh Weather Delays Nepal Avalanche Rescue Missions

On Friday after a heavy snowfall, an avalanche occurred at an altitude of about 3,230 metres close to the Annapurna base camp. Around four South Koreans and three Nepalis still remain missing while 200 people have been rescued after the avalanche hit.

Trekkers were en route on a Himalayan mountain near a base camp when the avalanche struck. There were four South Korean volunteer teachers and two Nepali guides missing. Heavy snowfall of about five metres(16ft) at the scene has delayed the rescue operations on Saturday.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports, rescue operations were set to resume on Sunday with helicopters and 10 more police officers are expected to join the search on Mount Annapurna which is one of the highest peaks in the Himalayas. The avalanche has said to have occurred in an altitude of 3,230m (10,600ft) about 150 km from northwest of the country’s capital Kathmandu.

According to South Korean foreign ministry, the missing trekkers include two women in their 30s and 50s and two men in their 50s who are teachers staying in Nepal for volunteer work. Other five South Korean members of the group took shelter in the lodge before being they were airlifted to safety. According to Sandesh Pandey of Janbogo Tour Nepal who helped organize the trek said that the four missing people were part of 11-member team from South Korea.


On Friday, they began their descend as heavy snowfall prevented them from going higher. The five were brought to safety and the remaining two did not go up in the trek. The South Korean government have dispatched an emergency team to assist rescue efforts and help those who are affected. South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said in a statement on Facebook that he would do his best to find the missing trekkers. He also said that his thoughts were with the families of the missing trekkers who have flown down to the city fo Pokhara and are waiting for further updates.

Hundreds of foreigners visit Nepal to climb one or the other 14 highest mountains in the world including Mount Everest. Such fatal accidents are normal as was in October 2018 where nine climbers died as a violent snowstorm destroyed their camp.

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