Survivors have been giving harrowing accounts of the unseasonal blizzards and avalanches that have killed at least 25 people and left scores more missing on Nepal’s Himalayan trekking trail.
Foreign hikers like Israeli Linor Kajan were caught up in the disaster.
“Personally I was sure I was going to die,” she told reporters. “I lost my group. I lost all the people I was with and I could not see anything. And I was stuck in snow till here,” she said, gesticulating to indicate the significant depth of the snow.
Rescuers say up to 85 trekkers registered on the trail are unaccounted for after the snowstorms brought by the tail end of a cyclone that stuck India last weekend. Some may have safely left the area. But the death toll, including at least 11 foreigners, is expected to rise.
Rescue efforts focused on the Thorang-La area, where a blizzard on Wednesday killed six Nepali citizens, three Polish nationals and three Israeli hikers. Separately, in the neighbouring district of Manang, four Canadian hikers and an Indian national were killed in an avalanche.
A Facebook page set up on Wednesday to help friends and relatives trace loved ones trekking in Nepal quickly filled with concerned posts from the United States, Canada, Australia and South Korea
It was the second major mountain disaster to strike in Nepal this year, after an ice-avalanche killed 16 sherpa guides on Mount Everest in April.