Chinese, South Koreans go missing as avalanche hits popular Annapurna trekking route

Published On: January 17, 2020 06:15 PM NPT By: Santosh Pokharel

POKHARA, Jan 17: Several Chinese and Korean nationals along with their guides have gone out of contact after an avalanche hit Annapurna trekking route on Friday.

According to the chief at District Police Office, Kaski Superintendent of Police (SP) Dan Bahadur Karki incessant snowfall and bad weather has made it difficult to gather information about the missing foreigners.

“Of the affected trekkers, five are from South Korea. One of them was rescued who has sustained some injuries too. Other four are safe. However, we have yet to get information about Chinese trekkers,” SP Karki told Republica Online.

A team of police from Ghandruk left for the incident site. According to police, bad weather made it difficult to expedite rescue operation. “However, we are in regular contact with the local people,” Karki added. 

Conservation Officer at Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)’s Ghandruk office Bidur Kuikel, on the other hand, informed that only a Nepali guide went missing due to avalanche whose identity is yet to be ascertained. “However, a porter with them is safe. I have been informed about the Korean tourists but I am unaware of Chinese tourists,” Kuikel added. 

According to Kuikel, the incident site is a very risky zone even during the trekking season. “As it is the off-season for trekking, we already notified the trekkers to adopt safety measures while trekking along the route.” 

The spot is a-day-walk from the Annapurna Base Camp.  

Talking to Republica Online, the ward chairperson of Annapurna rural municipality-1 Him Bahadur Gurung also confirmed the avalanche, however, he said that they have yet to receive detail information on the incident as snowfall has disrupted the telecommunication service in the avalanche-hit area. 

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