Dharamshala: - According to a report in The Guardian, Nepal is wrapping up rescue operations in its northern mountains on Monday, saying all the hikers believed to be stranded on a trekking route by a series of unseasonal blizzards and avalanches have been rescued and are safe.
It is believed that the majority of casualties were in Thorong La, an apple growing area, which borders Tibet,and a popular area among foreign hikers.
Since the blizzard hit on Wednesday more than 30 bodies have been identified. Amongst those who perished are Canadian, Indian, Israeli, Japanese, Nepalese, Polish and Slovak trekkers.
Blizzards and avalanches struck on the Annapurna trail on 16 October. The storm, caused by the tail end of a cyclone that hit the Indian coast a few days earlier,caught hikers off-guard.So far more than 500 people have been rescued.
A trekker who spoke to the BBC said trekkers were "herded to their deaths" by ill-equipped guides. He said, "If someone had taken the responsibility just to stop people going up there, I'm sure the fatalities would have been a lot less."
However according to a report by The Guardian, Nepalese officials have said that the high death toll is due to budget tourists who tried to save money by not hiring guides to cross a high mountain pass.
On Sunday Nepalese officials were forced to close a section of the trekking route after rescuers found themselves having to bring new climbers, who set out on the same mountain trail, to safety.
The disaster marks the year's second mountain disaster in Nepal, after 16 guides were killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest in April. The recent disasters are likely to have an impact on tourism in the area which currently accounts for 4 percent of Nepal's economy.