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UPDATED: Two Slovaks missing in Himalayas after avalanche

A group of Slovak climbers had to be rescued after a massive snowstorm in Nepal, in the area around the Mt Dhaulagiri, as did three of their Nepalese mountain guides. During a trek on October 14, a strong snowstorm hit the base-camp under Dhaulagiri. Eight Slovaks were rescued by October 15, while two others – along with three Nepalese trek leaders – were still missing October 16.

A group of Slovak climbers had to be rescued after a massive snowstorm in Nepal, in the area around the Mt Dhaulagiri, as did three of their Nepalese mountain guides. During a trek on October 14, a strong snowstorm hit the base-camp under Dhaulagiri. Eight Slovaks were rescued by October 15, while two others – along with three Nepalese trek leaders – were still missing October 16.

“We know about this case,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Peter Susko told the TASR newswire. “We are in contact with our consul who is directly in Nepal, and who is taking care of the eight saved climbers,” Susko added.

The sudden worsening of weather conditions in Nepal is probably due to the Hudhud cyclone which came from the Bay of Bengal and which hit the south-eastern coast of India on October 12. The Slovak group was trapped by an avalanche when preparing to climb Dhaulagiri, the 8,167 metres tall peak, the SITA newswire wrote.

On October 16, the search for missing Slovak and their guides was continuing, but it was complicated by bad weather. The Foreign Ministry told SITA that the son of honorary consul to Nepal was participating in the search operation, and that it was in contact with him. The ministry also launched a hotline for relatives of Slovaks who may be in the region: 004212/5978 3750 between 8:00 and 16:00; and 004212/5978 5978 outside these hours.

As of noon on October there have been 29 fatalities, including 12 foreigners; however, dozens are still missing in aftermath of the storm and avalanches in the vicinity of popular “tourist route” leading to Mt Annapurna which is one of the most popular trekking routes in Nepal.

On October 16, in the afternoon, Nepalese authorities confirmed the deaths of two Slovak mountaineers and three Nepalese trekking guides, the TASR newswire quoted the DPA newswire and Nepalese TV. The AP newswire informed, without specifying a source that the bodies of two Slovaks and three Nepalese were found on Thursday. The Slovak Expedition.sk website wrote that the missing climbers were Janko Matlák and Vlado Švancár.

(Source: TASR, SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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