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12 Trekkers Killed In Blizzards, Avalanche In Nepal's Himalayas

Mt. Machhapuchre (center) and Annapurna Himalayan Range from Gulmi, Nepal.
Sunil Sharma Xinhua/Landov
Mt. Machhapuchre (center) and Annapurna Himalayan Range from Gulmi, Nepal.

At least a dozen trekkers have been killed in unseasonable blizzards and an avalanche in the foothills of Nepal's Himalayan mountain range.

NPR's Julie McCarthy, reporting from New Delhi, says locals and international tourists are among the dead. Rescuers say those killed include four Canadians, two Poles, an Israeli, an Indian and a Nepali.

The Wall Street Journal says:

"More than 100 tourists were crossing the nearly 18,000-foot-high Thorong La pass when heavy snow began to fall Tuesday, said Basant Hamal, general secretary of the nonprofit Himalayan Rescue Association. "Many rushed to descend to lower altitudes, but others were trapped as the storm closed in. By Wednesday evening, 18 survivors had been rescued, Mr. Hamal said."

Julie says the bad weather has been linked to cyclone Hudhud.

The trekkers were descending from Mount Annapurna, the world's 10th-highest peak and one of the most popular high-altitude treks in Nepal, Julie says.

She reminds us that in April an avalanche above base camp on Mount Everest killed 16 Nepalese guides. It was the deadliest single day for climbers on the world's tallest peak.

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