Nepal blizzards and avalanches claim many lives

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A blizzard and several avalanches in the Himalayas in central Nepal are reported to have killed at least 26 trekkers and three farmers.

The highest number of deaths – two Israelis, two Poles and eight Nepalese – happened when a blizzard hit a point on the Annapurna Circuit.

Many trekkers returning from the circuit remain out of contact.

South Asia Editor Charles Haviland says it is one the deadliest spells of bad weather ever seen in the region.

Avalanches to the east and west have left 10 more people dead or presumed dead, among them Canadians, Slovaks and an Indian as well as local people.

A French man also died after slipping into the Budhi Gandaki river in heavy rains.

Severe rain and snowstorms in Nepal appear to have been triggered by Cyclone Hudhud in neighbouring India.

Mili Thakur