10 June 2016 - 4 Sivan 5776 - ד' סיון ה' אלפים תשע"ו

A major disaster relief operation recently took place in Nepal, where many hundreds of hikers were trapped. More than four feet of snow fell around the Annapurna trekking route in the Annapurna mountain range of the Himalaya’s on 14-15 October.

At that time bad weather was linked to cyclone Hudhud, which made landfall on the eastern coast of India. Mount Annapurna is the world’s 10thhighest peak and one of the most popular high-altitude treks in Nepal.

Around 400 people had been stranded; half of them were foreigners, according to local reports. Over 220 people had been rescued. Locals and international tourists were among 39 people known to have died. The Nepal Army has now ended its rescue operations.

“The last rescue helicopters hovered over Mustang, Manang and Dolpa districts on 20 October,” said Yadav Koirala, Nepal’s Disaster Management Division. “All the casualties were in those three districts northwest of the capital, Kathmandu. We believe that all the trekkers and guides have been helped and as far as we know there are no more people stranded on the route,’ Koirala added. He also relayed a message that some soldiers would remain camped out in the area.

Those familiar with the location and the route commented that the deaths of so many trekkers on this route was unprecedented. Thousands of foreigners usually attempt to trek the circuit in October, which is considered a favourable month for climbing and is not generally known for severe weather .

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