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12 Dead in Nepal Avalanche


Avalanche in Nepal, on Mt. Everest
Avalanche in Nepal, on Mt. Everest

Heavy snow and avalanches in Nepal's Himalayas have killed at least 12 people, including eight foreign hikers.

Mt. Annapurna in Nepal, site of avalanche
Mt. Annapurna in Nepal, site of avalanche

Officials say the bodies of two Polish nationals, an Israeli and a Nepali were found near a popular trekking route that circles Annapurna, the world's 10th highest mountain.

An avalanche buried one Indian and four Canadian hikers in the neighboring district of Manang, where three yak herders also died after being swept away.

Government officials say 14 hikers have been rescued but that more deaths are feared as the bad weather has hampered communications, making it even more difficult to locate other people who may be trapped by snow and rough terrain.

The remnants of deadly Cyclone Hudhud in neighboring India triggered rain and snow in Nepal's northern mountains at the height of the popular trekking season.

A local police official told the French news agency up to 91 centimeters of snow had fallen in the area.

The Nepalese trekking community suffered huge losses this year after an April avalanche near Mount Everest Base Camp killed 16 guides.

The incident raised questions about safety for the Sherpas, who are often economically dependent on a trekking circuit driven largely by foreign climbing tourism.

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