POKHARA, Jan 18: Several Chinese and Korean nationals along with their guides have gone out of contact after an avalanche struck a popular trekking route in Annapurna region on Friday.
According to Superintendent of Police Dan Bahadur Karki, chief of the District Police Office, Kaski, heavy snowfall and bad weather have made it difficult to gather information about the missing foreigners.
“Among the missing trekkers, five are from South Korea. We managed to rescue one of them. He has sustained some injuries,” said SP Karki, adding, “We are yet to get information about the missing Chinese trekkers,” SP Karki told Republica.
A team of police from Ghandruk has left for the avalanche site. According to police, bad weather has made it difficult to expedite the rescue operation.
Conservation Officer at Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP)’s Ghandruk-based office Bidur Kuikel, on the other hand, informed that only a Nepali guide is missing in the avalanche. The identity of the guide is yet to be ascertained. “I have been informed about the Korean tourists but I am unaware of Chinese tourists,” Kuikel added.
According to Kuikel, the place where the avalanche hit is a very risky area even during the trekking season. “As this is the off-season for trekking, we had notified the trekkers to adopt safety measures while trekking along the route.”
The spot is one day’s trek from the Annapurna Base Camp.
Talking to Republica, the ward chairperson of Annapurna Rural Municipality-1 Him Bahadur Gurung also confirmed the avalanche.
However, he said that they are yet to receive detailed information on the incident as snowfall has disrupted telecommunication services in the avalanche-hit area.