Fears of more Polish casualties after Himalayan tragedy
PR dla Zagranicy
The death toll following a snowstorm in the Himalayas has allegedly risen from 4 to at least 27, including two Poles, and over a hundred trekkers in Nepal are still missing.
A handout picture released by the Nepalese Army shows members of the army carry a dead body of a trekker from the Thorung La mountain pass, on the Annapurna Circuit, Mustang district, Nepal. 15 October 2014. Photo: EPA
Poland's foreign ministry has declined to confirm further casualties at present, stressing that victims' families will be the first to be informed.
Nepalese rescue teams, coordinated by military personnel, rushed to reach missing trekkers on Wednesday before night fell.
The worst hit area has been the Annapurna sector of the range, the most popular destination for foreign trekkers.
A handout picture released by the Nepalese Army shows members of the army carry an injured trekker from the Thorung La mountain pass, on the Annapurna Circuit, in Mustang district, Nepal. 15 October 2014. Photo: EPA
Although over a hundred trekkers remain out of contact, several Poles appear to have already been saved in the Mustang district, near the Tibetan border.
“We have rescued five German, five Polish and four Israeli trekkers who were trapped in the snowfall early on Wednesday,” said Mustung governor Baburam Bhandari, as cited by ABC News.
However, Bhabdari noted that “the phone network is not very good so we have not been able to get in touch with the missing.”
More victims have been spotted from helicopters in the Manang district, but it was not possible to reach them owing to further snowfalls.
October is normally considered a safe month for trekkers in the region, but freak weather was caused by Cyclone Hudhud, which hit India's eastern coast over the weekend.
Poland's foreign ministry has opened a hotline for families trying to contact relatives in the region. (nh)