People gather near a helicopter belonging to Nepal Army used to rescue avalanche victims at Thorang-La in Annapurna Region in this October 15 http://www.ducksauthority.com/authentic-julius-nattinen-ducks-jersey/ , 2014 handout photo provided by Nepal Army. [PhotoAgencies] Nepalese army personnel surround a victim rescued from the avalanche as they wait for a helicopter to land at Thorang-La in Annapurna Region in this October 15, 2014 handout photo provided by Nepal Army. [PhotoAgencies] Nepalese army personnel carry a victim rescued from the avalanche at Thorang-La in Annapurna Region in this October 15, 2014 handout photo provided by Nepal Army. [PhotoAgencies]
KATHMANDU - At least 20 people, including eight foreign hikers and a group of yak herders, were killed in Nepal by unseasonal blizzards and avalanches triggered by the tail of cyclone Hudhud, officials said on Wednesday.
There are no Chinese tourists among the dead by now according to media reports.
Rescue officials said the death toll could rise as dozens of other foreigners and locals who had been trekking were out of contact due to poor communication links and could have been caught in blizzards.
Two climbers from Slovakia and three Nepalese guides were also reported missing.
The hikers' deaths come during the peak trekking season in Nepal http://www.ducksauthority.com/authentic-josh-manson-ducks-jersey/ , home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountain peaks, including Qomolangma, known as Mount Everest in the West.
For the past two days, Nepal has been lashed by heavy rains brought on by the cyclone that has battered neighbouring India. The weather triggered blizzards at high altitudes.
The bodies of a Nepali citizen, two Polish nationals and an Israeli hiker were found along a popular trekking route in the Thorang-La area near Annapurna, the world's 10th highest mountain http://www.ducksauthority.com/authentic-john-gibson-ducks-jersey/ , said Baburam Bhandari, governor of the district of Mustang, where the incident took place.
Bhandari said the group perished in a blizzard.
"We have rescued five German, five Polish and four Israeli trekkers who were trapped in the snowfall early on Wednesday," Bhandari said by telephone, without giving details. One German tourist fractured his leg http://www.ducksauthority.com/authentic-jean-sebastien-giguere-ducks-jersey/ , he said.
Police said eight Nepalis had died in Mustang, an apple growing area bordering Tibet, which is about 150 km (93 miles) northwest of the Nepali capital, Kathmandu, and is popular among foreign hikers.
Separately, in the neighbouring district of Manang http://www.ducksauthority.com/authentic-jaycob-megna-ducks-jersey/ , four Canadian hikers and an Indian national were killed in an avalanche, the district's most senior bureaucrat, Devendra Lamichhane, said.
"The pilot of a rescue helicopter spotted the bodies in snow," Lamichhane said. "But it is not possible to retrieve their bodies because it is snowing heavily in the area now."
Three yak herders were killed after being swept away by a separate avalanche at Nar village in Manang, officials said.
Two climbers from Slovakia and three Nepalese guides were also missing as night fell after an avalanche near the base camp of Dhaulagiri late on Tuesday http://www.ducksauthority.com/authentic-jared-boll-ducks-jersey/ , tourism department officials said. Dhaulagiri is the world's eighth-highest peak, at 8,167 metres (26,795 feet).
Army helicopters took 14 injured survivors to local hospitals. Some of the survivors were flown to Kathmandu.
"We have called off the rescue operation today due to heavy snowfall and darkness," army official Niranjan Shrestha said. "Rescue and search will continue early on Thursday."
Local television showed soldiers carrying stretchers bearing the bodies of dead hikers to and from rescue helicopters in Mustang.
Nepal's tourism industry is still recovering from the aftershocks of an ice avalanche that struck the lower reaches of Mount Everest in April, killing 16 sherpa guides in the worst disaster in the history of the world's highest peak.
More than a tenth of the nearly 800 http://www.ducksauthority.com/authentic-jakob-silfverberg-ducks-jersey/ ,000 tourists who visited Nepal in 2013 went hiking or mountain climbing, providing a key revenue stream for the aid-dependent nation, which relies on income from tourism for 4 percent of its gross domestic product.
The Annapurna Circuit, a trekking trail that goes around Mount Annapurna and was battered by the blizzards, is one of the most popular hiking routes in Nepal.
HOHHOT, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The first high-speed railway in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region started test runs on Sunday to prepare for the beginning of regular use by the end of July.
The high-speed train ran at a speed of 250 to 275 km per hour on a section from Ulanqab to Hohhot http://www.ducksauthority.com/authentic-jacob-larsson-ducks-jersey/ , capital of the region, during Sunday's trial, according to Hohhot Railway Bureau.
The section in Inner Mongolia is part of the high-speed railway that links Hohhot to Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, the co-host city of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. When it is operational by the end of July, the travel time between Ulanqab and Hohhot will be shortened to 35 minutes from the current one hour.
The 286.8 km-long Zhangjiakou-Hohhot high-speed rail, with a designed speed of 250 km per hour http://www.ducksauthority.com/authentic-hampus-lindholm-ducks-jersey/ , will be a major high-speed rail in north China upon completion.
It is expected to be completed and put into service in 2018. At that time, the Zhangjiakou-Hohhot high-speed rail will be connected to the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed rail, which is under construction. The travel time from Hohhot to Beijing will be reduced from the average nine hours to within three hours.
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