KATHMANDU (Reuters) - The search for missing trekkers, guides and residents feared buried in Nepal village by a massive landslide and avalanche triggered by last month’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake has been suspended due to bad weather, officials said on Sunday.
The suspension of the search in Langtang underscores the challenging conditions facing rescuers, soldiers and aid workers two weeks after the April 25 quake struck, killing at least 7,913 people and injuring more than 17,800.
“Fresh avalanches are hitting the area continuously,” Gautam Rimal, a district official, told Reuters. “Rescuers who were searching for bodies have now moved to safe places.”
Twenty bodies were recovered on Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in Langtang to 120. Two of the bodies, however, were almost immediately buried again in a new avalanche, Rimal said.
Large swaths of remote, hard-to-access locations such as Langtang, 60 km (35 miles) north of the capital Kathmandu, were devastated in the earthquake, and aid agencies say many places have yet to be reached to assess the damage or deliver relief supplies.
Officials remained unsure how many people were in Langtang village, in the heart of a popular trekking and climbing area, when the earthquake and landslide struck. Residents have said that as many as 180 people may still be buried under the snow.
Rimal said the search in Langtang would resume once the weather cleared and daily avalanches stop.
The bodies of nine foreigners killed in Langtang have been sent to Kathmandu, and bodies of residents have been handed over to relatives.
Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Writing by Krista Mahr; Editing by Alex Richardson