20 Climbers Dead, Dozens Missing in Himalayas Storm

Blizzard, avalanches trap scores of hikers on mountains
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2014 4:30 PM CDT
20 Climbers Dead, Dozens Missing in Himalayas Storm
In this photo provided by the Nepalese army, soldiers carry an avalanche victim before he is airlifted in Thorong La pass area, Nepal, Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Nepalese Army)

Another catastrophe in the Himalayas, where a sudden blizzard and a series of avalanches have killed more than 20 climbers and left dozens more missing, reports the BBC. About half the victims so far are foreigners, though no Americans are among them. The death toll in Nepal has already surpassed the 16 who were killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest in April, all of them Sherpa guides. The new victims weren't on Everest but on other mountains in the region, including Annapurna and Thorong La. Conditions are still so bad that the army had to suspend rescue operations until tomorrow, reports the New York Times.

Heavy rains from a cyclone in India have drenched the nation in recent days, leading to conditions that spawned the "freak" storm, reports Reuters. The bodies of four Canadians, two Poles, and two Israelis are among those that have been recovered. An estimated 200 hikers might have been caught in the storm, which came right in the midst of peak climbing season. A Facebook page called Annapurna Nepal and Blizzard Info Share has sprung up to provide updates. (More Himalayas stories.)

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