Nepal vows new safety rules for trekkers after deaths of 41 killed in blizzard, avalanches



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KATMANDU, Nepal — Nepalese officials say they plan to introduce new rules, improve weather forecasts and better monitor the movement of trekkers following the Himalayan country's worst hiking disaster last week.

Tourism Department official Tulasi Gautam said Tuesday that trekkers venturing to mountain trails will be required to take trained local guides, and will have to rent a GPS tracking unit to help authorities trace them in case of an emergency.

Gautam says the government plans to announce the new rules before the next trekking season in the spring.

Officials say 41 people, including foreign tourists and local guides, were killed last week when a blizzard and avalanches swept the northern mountains in central Nepal. More than 500 stranded trekkers were rescued.

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