Nepal: Rescuers focus on recovering bodies after mountain disaster

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Nepal: Rescuers focus on recovering bodies after mountain disaster

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Hopes faded on Sunday for survivors of one of Nepal’s worst ever mountain disasters.

At least 43 people are known to have died after a snowstorm brought blizzards to the Annapurna trail in the Himalayas.

Army helicopters are now focusing on recovering bodies buried in the snow.

Colonel Niranjan Kumar Shrestha, Nepalese Army spokesman, explained how the adverse weather has affected the rescue and recovery mission.

“Terrain is okay but it is the matter of the weather and thickness of the snow that is hampering our movement basically,” he said.

“It has improved from yesterday but if the snowing is stopped then very heavy wind is there. So, whenever there is heavy wind, operating chopper is very difficult,” Shrestha added.

More than 400 people have been rescued from the popular route, which includes the world’s tenth tallest peak, after a cyclone in neighbouring India triggered the blizzards and avalanches last week.

Many of the injured have been treated for severe frostbite in Kathmandu.

The Nepali government admitted it failed to warn about the extreme weather and plans to put an early warning system in place.

Seven Israeli hikers who survived returned to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday.

One of the hikers, Roey Patael, described how he was completely buried in snow for around 15 hours. He was rescued on the second night.