At least 12 killed in Nepal avalanche

Officials have confirmed Wednesday that an avalanche in the mountains of Nepal has killed 12 people. Four Canadians were confirmed perished in the avalanche while another three were rescued. It’s unclear if the Canadians were trekking separate or together as a group.

Devendra Lamichane, chief administrator of Manang district, said the avalanche also buried an Indian trekker in Phu, but due to the blizzard, would take days to recover.

François-Xavier Bleau, the director of Terra Ultima Montreal — a company that specializes in global mountainous trekking and hiking tours — confirmed to Radio-Canada that six hikers from Quebec remain missing in Phu.

On Monday, three villagers were killed by the blizzard in a district about 160 kilometers northwest of Kathmandu. Their bodies were not recovered until Wednesday.

Government official Yam Bahadur Chokyal said that in the neighboring district of Mustand, four other trekkers — two Polish, one Nepalo and one Israeli — were caught in the blizzard. Their bodies were recovered on Tuesday.

Chikyal said that so far 14 foreign trekkers have been rescued by two army helicopters that have been picking up injured trekkers, taking them to Jomsom town. He also says it’s not possible to determine just how many trekkers may still be stranded on the hard-hit route, but due to improved weather, some have reached safe ground.

October is Nepal’s most popular trekking season, attracting thousands of foreigners into the Himalayan mountains. The highly-sought-after Thorong La pass is the world’s 10th highest peak, a pass that circles Mount Annapurna.

In April, an avalanche hit the base camp on Mount Everest killing 16 Nepalese guides.

A cyclone that stormed through India a few days ago is being blamed for the current rain and snow in Nepal.