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Heavy snow hampers search for missing S. Korean trekkers

Heavy snow hampers search for missing S. Korean trekkers

Posted January. 20, 2020 08:05,   

Updated January. 20, 2020 08:05


Four South Korean volunteer teachers have gone missing in a snow avalanche in the Himalayas. While local police have been searching for them, their efforts are hampered by heavy snow.

The South Chungcheong Office of Education reported on Saturday that its four teachers have gone missing as a result of a sudden avalanche at 10 a.m. on Friday (estimated local time), trekking down to the Himalaya lodge from Deurali at an altitude of 3,230 meters. Two local guides are also among those missing. Five other South Korean members of their group who were behind the missing with some distance apart safely took shelter.

According to the Office of Education, the group of teachers headed to Nepal for educational volunteer work on January 13 and went to enjoy trekking in the Himalayas on the weekend. The group was heading to the Annapurna Base Camp (4,130 meters) but had to turn back as heavy snow fell on Friday, which is when the incident took place. “Most other trekking teams nearby stayed in shelters due to heavy snow,” said the CEO of a trekking company.

The South Korea Embassy in Nepal has been searching for the missing South Koreans by forming an emergency search team with the Nepalese police since Saturday, but heavy wind and snow have been continuing. The South Korean Foreign Ministry sent an emergency response team, as well as the family members of the missing, to the site on Saturday.

Gun-Hee Cho becom@donga.com · Myung-Hun Jee mhjee@donga.com