250 feared missing in new Nepal avalanche
Around 250 people are feared missing yesterday after an avalanche hit an area of Nepal that is on a popular trekking route and near the epicentre of a devastating earthquake, a local official said.
"An avalanche occurred in the afternoon today in Ghodatabela, an area on the popular Langtang trekking route," said chief district officer.
"It is difficult to say how many are missing, but a preliminary guess is that about 250 might be missing."
Bhattarai said foreign tourists may have been among those missing after the avalanche, but details remained scant as the area is remote and communications difficult.
The Langtang range is relatively close to Kathmandu and is popular among foreign trekkers for its teahouses.
In a televised address late yesterday, Nepal Prime Minister declared three days of national mourning for the 5,057 people known to have perished in Nepal alone. More than 100 people died in neighbouring countries such as India and China. Around 8,000 people had been injured while the United Nations estimated that eight million people had been affected.
Among the dead were 18 climbers who were at Mount Everest base camp when an avalanche triggered by the quake flattened everything in its path. The victims included two American climbers, an Australian and a Chinese.