Seven trekkers confirmed dead, 8 missing in Indian Himalayas

The mountainous Uttarakhand state is experiencing severe weather

Dozens of Indian emergency workers are scouring two Himalayan mountain ranges in efforts to find eight trekkers who are missing after severe weather killed seven hikers in Uttarakhand state.

Extreme rain and snowfall last week triggered flash floods and landslides across several parts of the northern state, killing at least 68 people and damaging scores of homes and roads.

We have recovered seven bodies from Lamkhaga Pass. Two are still missing and two badly injured trekkers are being treated at a hospital
Shweta Choubey, Uttarakhand police

Officials said two groups of trekkers comprising 21 people were trapped in upper reaches of the Himalayas after heavy rains and snowfall hit the region late last Sunday.

The army sent a helicopter on Thursday and several teams of rescuers embarked on foot to trace the missing trekkers.

But seven of a group of 11 trekkers were found dead, having fallen into a gorge following heavy snowfall near the 5,200-metre Lamkhaga Pass.

Two trekkers were rescued while another two remain missing.

Officials said the aerial rescue operation was called off late on Friday after the area received fresh snowfall, but two teams of rescue workers were scouring the area on Saturday.

In Sunderdhunga glacier, east of Lamkhaga Pass, six trekkers are missing after they were caught in heavy snowfall.

Four others were rescued by emergency workers on Friday from the 3,000m glacier.

“We have recovered seven bodies from Lamkhaga Pass. Two [trekkers] are still missing and two badly injured trekkers are being treated at a hospital,” Shweta Choubey, a police officer from Uttarakhand, told The National.

Six trekkers are missing from the Sunderdhunga region, while four others were rescued by emergency workers, the officer said.

Authorities said they rescued more than 60 trekkers, including six foreigners, from Kafani and Dwali glaciers, in the east of the state.

Uttarakhand is one of the top mountaineering destinations in India, with thousands of people visiting the state’s Himalayan peaks in October, the start of the post-monsoon season.

But extreme weather and landslides are becoming common in the Himalayan state in recent years, something experts attribute to climate change.

More than 200 people were killed in February after a glacier avalanche caused flash floods that struck the state's Chamoli district, damaging two hydroelectric projects and roads.

Updated: November 1st 2021, 10:53 AM