Avalanche and blizzard in Nepal kill 12 people, including 4 Canadians

Officials say an avalanche and a blizzard in Nepal’s mountainous north have killed at least 12 people, including four Canadians.

KATMANDU, Nepal — Officials say an avalanche and a blizzard in Nepal’s mountainous north have killed at least 12 people, including four Canadians.

The co-founder of Montreal-based travel agency Terra Ultima said today three Quebecers are among those missing and feared dead.

Julien Passerini said there were six Quebecers in the area, including a guide. The six left Canada on Oct. 3 for three weeks.

The three people he described as missing were two women in their 50s and one in her 30s. One of the three is the guide.

A statement from the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal said the bodies of five people — four Canadians and one Indian trekker — were recovered from Phu area in Manang district.

A company called Panorama Himalaya confirmed the death of s three Canadian clients in an avalanche while a company called Nepal Hidden Treks confirmed the death of a Canadian woman.

Panorama Himalaya also said it had rescued three other Canadian trekkers, according to the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal.

The death toll was likely to rise as rescuers struggled through snow and rough terrain to help dozens who remained stranded, the officials said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper took to Twitter to voice his sympathy.

“Laureen and I express our condolences to the families and friends of the four Canadians who lost their lives in an avalanche in Nepal,” he wrote.

Three villagers were killed Monday in the same district, about 160 kilometres northwest of the capital, Kathmandu, and their bodies were recovered on Wednesday.

In the neighbouring Mustang district, four trekkers caught in a blizzard died Tuesday.

Rescuers recovered the bodies of the two Poles, one Israeli and one Nepali trekker from the Thorong La pass area.

It was initially thought that group had been caught in an avalanche, but government official Yam Bahadur Chokyal said the four trekkers instead had been caught in the blizzard and died.

He said another 14 foreign trekkers have been rescued so far, and two army helicopters were picking up injured trekkers and flying them to Jomsom town.

Chokyal said it was not possible to say how many trekkers were still on the route stranded by the deep snow but several of them have reached safe ground on Wednesday because of improved weather.

Five other climbers — two from Slovakia and three Nepalese guides — were hit by a separate avalanche on Mount Dhaulagiri and remained missing.

The rain and snow in Nepal were caused by a cyclone that hit neighbouring India several days ago.

October is the most popular trekking season in Nepal, with thousands of foreigners hiking around Nepal’s Himalayan mountains.

The Thorong La pass is also on the route that circles Mount Annapurna, the world’s 10th highest peak.

An avalanche in April just above the base camp on Mount Everest killed 16 Nepalese guides, the deadliest single disaster on the mountain.

Climate experts say rising global temperatures have contributed to avalanches on the Himalayan mountains.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Samantha Sharpe, 25, was stabbed to death at Sunchild First Nation on Dec. 12, 2018. Chelsey Lagrelle was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for manslaughter in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Albertans need to keep making safe choices to start bending the curve back down. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

Olds College logo
Olds College to host free, online agriculture celebration next month

Olds College will host a free live-streamed agriculture event next month. The… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services Logo
AHS upgrading online immunization booking tool

Alberta Health Services’ online booking tool for COVID-19 immunizations will be temporarily… Continue reading

Eric Rajah and Brian Leavitt were awarded with Meritorious Service Medals by the Governor General for co-founding the Lacombe-based charity A Better World. The agency’s goal is to reduce poverty and boost education in Africa and Afghanistan. (Contributed photo)
Co-founders of Lacombe-based charity receive one of Canada’s highest honours

Eric Rajah, Brian Leavitt of A Better World are honoured by the Governor General

Red Deer dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Dallas Stars' Mark Pysyk (13) and Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) compete for control of a loose puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Vasilevskiy 3rd straight shutout as Lightning top Stars 2-0

Vasilevskiy 3rd straight shutout as Lightning top Stars 2-0

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) grabs a loose puck as Canadiens defenceman Ben Chiarot (8) and Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) battle for the rebound during first-period NHL hockey action Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Hab down Sens 3-1 to snap 5-game winless streak; Ducharme earns 1st NHL coaching win

Hab down Sens 3-1 to snap 5-game winless streak; Ducharme earns 1st NHL coaching win

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2021, file photo, Creighton coach Greg McDermott watches the team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Butler in Indianapolis. McDermott apologized publicly Tuesday, March 2, for using insensitive language in his postgame locker room talk with players and staff following a loss over the weekend. In a tweet, McDermott said he used a “terribly inappropriate analogy in making a point about staying together as a team despite the loss.” (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
Creighton coach McDermott apologizes for ‘plantation’ remark

Creighton coach McDermott apologizes for ‘plantation’ remark

WHL’s B.C. Division clubs cleared to play in Kamloops and Kelowna bubble environments

WHL’s B.C. Division clubs cleared to play in Kamloops and Kelowna bubble environments

World Rugby recommends postponing 2021 women’s World Cup to next year

World Rugby recommends postponing 2021 women’s World Cup to next year

Sean Burke speaks at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The Montreal Canadiens have made another change to their coaching staff, appointing Burke to take over as the director of goaltending. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Montreal Canadiens appoint Sean Burke as director of goaltending

Montreal Canadiens appoint Sean Burke as director of goaltending

The Toronto Arrows line up ahead of their Major League Rugby game in Toronto on April 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Neil Davidson
Toronto Arrows train under the bubble before heading south of the border

Toronto Arrows train under the bubble before heading south of the border

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson watches her shot against Team Ontario in the final at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., on February 28, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Kerri Einarson, Brad Gushue team up for national mixed doubles championship

Kerri Einarson, Brad Gushue team up for national mixed doubles championship

Most Read