(Reuters) – Rescue teams carried out final checks on Wednesday for anyone still trapped in an avalanche that swept across a road in India’s Himalayan state of Sikkim the day before, killing seven people.
Rescue teams pulled 20 survivors from ice that gripped the road to the Nathu La Pass, between Sikkim and China’s Tibet region, before calling off their search as bad weather approached and darkness fell on Tuesday night.
“Rescue operations have resumed this morning because we want to make sure we didn’t leave anyone behind. We will search the area properly before we cancel it,” Tenzing Luden Lipcha, a police official in the northeastern state, told Reuters. phone.
Avalanches have killed at least 120 people in the Indian Himalayas over the past two years.
A study in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2018 concluded that climate change has increased the risk of avalanches in the Himalayas.
It was not immediately clear what caused Tuesday’s disaster.
Tourists flock to Sikkim located below Mount Khangchendzonga, also known as Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world.
Nathu La serves as a route for the Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage to Mount Kailash in China, which is considered one of the holiest pilgrimages in Hinduism.
(Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar from Mumbai). Edited by Robert Purcell
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