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Digging begins in search for missing South Korea, Nepal trekkers

Digging begins in search for missing South Korea, Nepal trekkers
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

Rescuers in Nepal began digging through the snow on Wednesday as they searched for the bodies of four South Korean trekkers and three locals swept away by an avalanche in the Himalayas, officials said. The trekkers were descending near the Annapurna base camp in Nepal around 3,230 meters (10,600 feet) above sea level when the avalanche struck on Friday after heavy snowfall.

The search team of nine Nepal Army specialists, several South Korean personnel and locals dug into marked areas where signals from various tracking devices have been recorded from early Wednesday. "The Nepal Army rescue team dug about five meters deep in the area where it was assumed that Korean tourists might be buried, but nothing was found," the military said in a statement on Wednesday.

Relatives of the missing Koreans have arrived in Nepal. "They wish to get progress in the rescue activities," South Korean ambassador Park Young-sik told reporters on Tuesday.

Heavy snowfall has hampered the search, with officials stating that some snow could thaw in two weeks if the weather is sunny. But it could take up to a month for most of it to melt.

Six of the missing were part of the same expedition, while one Nepali porter was escorting a different group. The four foreigners -- two men and two women -- were part of an 11-member team of South Korean nationals. Others have safely descended. Education officials in Seoul said they were part of a team of volunteer teachers working with children in Nepal.

Thousands of trekkers visit Nepal every year for its stunning views of the Himalayas and routes lined with picturesque villages. The Annapurna region is particularly popular among tourists, with 172,720 visiting the area in 2018.

A snowstorm killed about 40 people on the Annapurna circuit in 2014, in one of the biggest trekking tragedies to hit Nepal.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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