A third Polish citizen has been confirmed dead after freak snowstorms hit the popular Annapurna trekking circuit of the Himalayas, Nepal, killing at least 43.
“Unfortunately, I can confirm that a third fatality o the snowstorm in Nepal has been identified by our diplomats as a Polish citizen,” stated foreign ministry spokesman Marcin Wojciechowski.
Two other Poles were pronounced dead on Wednesday, and at least 70 international trekkers are still missing in the region.
However, about 220 people are understood to have been saved so far, and survivors rescued by detachments of the Nepalese army have begun to shed light on their ordeal.
Linor Kajan was on a trek with 11 other Israelis when the blizzards struck. “I was personally sure I was going to die,” she said.
“It was like an emergency situation, you know [that] if you go it’s dangerous, but if you stay it’s dangerous,” she said.
“One Nepalese guide who knows the way saw me and asked me to stay with him.” Thankfully, shelter was nearby in a mountain tea shop.
“And he dragged me, really dragged me to the tea shop. And everybody there was really frightened,” she said.
The freak blizzards were caused by the tail-end of Cyclone Hudhud, which struck India’s eastern coast over the weekend.
The Annapurna trekking circuit is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal, and October is normally considered a safe month for hiking.
Foto: The Thorung La mountain on the Annapurna circuit in Mustang district, Nepal. Photo: EPA/Handout