Five people missing after a landslide at Mt Annapurna, Nepal

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A dry landslide was reported at the base of Mt Annapurna South at Narchyang VDC – 1, Nepal on February 23, 2016. The landslide occurred in the area that suffered deformation at the time of the massive Nepal earthquake in April 2015. Five people went missing.

The landslide happened on the night of February 23 (local time). A release of a large dust cloud has made a significant impact on the nearby communities in Narchyang, Dana, Bhurung, Tatopani, Shik, Ghar and Dowa VDCs. The haze reportedly caused traffic disruptions across the affected areas.

The Nepal Army and Nepal Police rescue services had difficulties in reaching the site, according to Bishworaj Khadka, Deputy Superintendent of Police. Five people who were on their way to forage for bamboo have gone out of contact, and the search and rescue attempts have been active since.

Residents of the affected areas couldn't come out of their homes due to the thick smog. The area where the landslide has hit, near the source of the Dhlemdi River, is, luckily, not inhabited.

Following the landslide the river has been blocked and full of muddy slush, according to Dirgha Prasad Gautam, the Narchyang VDC Secretary.

Annapurna mountain image acquired April 1, 2012. Credit: NASA/USGS EO1-ALI

Annapurna is the tenth tallest mountain in the world, but it ranks as one of the most dangerous. It is located along a 55-kilometer (34-mile) ridge just east of the Gandaki River, which has carved one of the deepest river gorges in the world. The gorge separates Annapurna from Dhaulagiri, the seventh tallest mountain in the world, EO explains.

The rocks that make up Annapurna’s summit, limestone formed at the bottom of a warm ocean, are a reminder of the powerful tectonic forces that pushed up the world’s highest mountains. Other eight-thousanders with limestone near the summits include Everest and Dhaulagiri.

Featured image: Mt Hiunchuli and Mt Annapurna South, January 20, 2008. Image credit: Jaan Gurung (Flickr-CC)

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