Two killed and two missing after avalanches hit Tibetan mountain

An American mountaineer and a Nepalese guide have died after avalanches struck the slopes of a Tibetan mountain, according to Chinese media.

Anna Gutu and Mingmar Sherpa were reported to have been killed after avalanches struck Mount Shishapangma on Saturday afternoon at 24,934 ft and 26,246 ft in altitude, state-owned Xinhua News Agency said.

Two others, American climber Gina Marie Rzucidlo and a Nepalese mountain guide Tenjen Sherpa, are missing, the news agency said.

The avalanches also seriously injured Nepalese mountain guide Karma Geljen Sherpa, who was escorted down the mountain by rescuers and is currently in stable condition.

A total of 52 climbers from various countries including the US, Britain, Japan and Italy were attempting to climb the mountain when the avalanches hit, Xinhua said.

Climbing activities have since been suspended due to snow conditions.

Shishapangma is the 14th-highest mountain in the world, at more than 26,335 ft above sea level.

October is a popular time to trek the Himalayas as it is after the rainy monsoon season, but experts have cautioned that climate change has increased the risk of avalanches in the region.

At least 120 people in the Indian Himalayas were killed by avalanches over the past two years.

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