May 7, 2012 / 11:58 AM / in 7 years

At least 20 dead in Nepal flood, 44 missing

Locals look towards the bank of Seti River that used to be a small village, swiped away by a flash flood caused by an avalanche in the Annapurna mountain range on Saturday, in Kaski district May 6, 2012. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Rescuers dug through mud and debris on Monday searching for bodies after a flash flood swept through west Nepal killing at least 20 people and leaving dozens missing, police said.

A torrent of water swept away scores of houses, vehicles and a bridge near the resort town of Pokhara, about 125 km (80 miles) west of Kathmandu, after an avalanche which had blocked the Seti River gave way.

Forty-four people, including three Ukranian tourists, were still missing after the flood hit on Saturday, police said.

Pokhara is the second-biggest city of Nepal after Kathmandu and is the gateway to Mount Annapurna, the world’s 10th-highest peak. Tourists begin their trek to the scenic Annapurna region from Pokhara.

Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Jeremy Laurence

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