A search is reportedly underway for eight climbers who went missing on the Nanda Devi East in the Indian Himalayas a week ago.
The group of seven climbers and one guide were last known to be on the 24,000-foot peak before they failed to return to base camp last Sunday, Australian news site ABC reported. The site also said local mountaineers detected a “heavy avalanche on the group’s proposed route.”
The eight were originally part of a larger team of 12 who set off on May 13, local official R.D. Paliwal told CNN. After 12 days, on May 25, only four had returned to base camp.
A local official said heavy rains and snowfall in the area are interfering with search efforts.
“We have activated resources to trace the climbers after they failed to return to the base camp, but bad weather is hindering the operation,” Vijay Kumar Jogdande, a magistrate in Pithoragarh district, told AFP news agency.
The group reportedly included four Britons, two Americans, an Australian and an Indian. The company that arranged the expedition, Himalayan Run & Trek, waited a few days after the remaining members of the team failed to arrive before alerting authorities of their disappearance on May 31, Jogdande said.
The UK Foreign Office said in a statement it was in contact with Indian authorities following reports that the climbers were missing, according to the BBC.
The rescue mission comes amid record-high reported deaths on Mount Everest. At least 11 people are reported to have died, taking the total death toll over the past week alone higher than that for all of 2018.