NEPAL: SNOW STORM KILLS NINE CLIMBERS IN HI­MALAYAS

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - World - Anil Giri let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

At least nine peo­ple, in­clud­ing five South Korean na­tion­als, died on Satur­day when an un­ex­pected snow storm trapped them at the base camp of Mt Gurja in Myagdi dis­trict of western Nepal.

The dis­trict po­lice of­fice in Myagdi con­firmed the death of five South Korean and four Nepali na­tion­als at the camp be­low the 7,193-me­tre peak. Of­fi­cials said the in­ci­dent oc­curred on Thurs­day but they came to know about it only when a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the or­gan­is­ers, Trekking Camp Nepal, in­formed po­lice that the ex­pe­di­tion team could not be con­tacted.

Ac­cord­ing to a po­lice bul­letin, the leader of the five Korean climbers from the Kore­an­way Gurja Hi­mal Ex­pe­di­tion 2018, Kim Chang-ho, was among the dead.

The bul­letin quoted an eye­wit­ness as say­ing that the Korean climbers and their Nepali sup­port staff were wait­ing for bet­ter weather to as­cend Mt Gu­jra. Un­ex­pected heavy snow­fall, fol­lowed by a landslide, caused their death.

Dis­trict po­lice chief Bir­ba­hadur Bu­dam­a­gar said bad weather was ham­per­ing res­cue op­er­a­tions. “As soon as po­lice came to know about the in­ci­dent, a he­li­copter was sent from Pokhara for search and res­cue op­er­a­tions but it could not land near the base camp due to the bad weather,” he added.

Some of the sup­port staff of the ex­pe­di­tion were lo­cal vil­lagers. When they could not be con­tacted, lo­cal res­i­dents had alerted the po­lice.

They also trav­elled to the base camp to find the miss­ing per­sons. When they reached the camp on Fri­day morn­ing, they found a hor­ri­ble scene, with tents de­stroyed by the storm and bod­ies ly­ing in the area.

KATHMANDU:

BLOOMBERG

De­bris and rub­ble are seen on a street af­ter Hur­ri­cane Michael hit Mex­ico Beach, Florida.

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