NEPAL: SNOW STORM KILLS NINE CLIMBERS IN HIMALAYAS
KATHMANDU: 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.