Rescuers step up hunt for bodies in quake-hit Nepal trekking village

Rescuers Step Up Hunt For Nepal Quake Victims

(Reuters) - Nepalese soldiers and villagers dug through snow mounds in a remote hamlet on Wednesday in search of scores of bodies of villagers and trekkers believed to be buried in an avalanche set off by last month's devastating earthquake, officials said.

The death toll from the April 25 quake in the Himalayan mountain nation has reached 7,675, with more than 16,300 people injured, the government said.

As rescuers hunted for more than 180 bodies in the village of Langtang, 60 km (37 miles) north of the capital Kathmandu, seven bodies including of that of a German trekker were recovered at Manaslu, another climbing site.

The earthquake and subsequent landslides swept away trekking trails in both Langtang and Manaslu.

On Wednesday, bad weather prevented the use of helicopters in support of rescue efforts in Langtang, which is on a Himalayan trekking route popular with Westerners. More than 13,000 foreign hikers visit the area annually.

"We don't know exactly how many people were in Langtang village at the time of disaster," said Uddhav Bhattarai, a local government official told Reuters. "More than three dozen workers at a nearby hydroelectric project are also unaccounted for. A search for them is also continuing."

(Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Writing by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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