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Heavy Weather Kills Climber, Strands 100 in India's Himalayas

At least one mountain climber has died and more than 100 people, including several from Russia, Australia and Germany, were stranded in northern India's Himalayas after heavy snowfall, an official said Saturday.

Authorities lost contact with the climbers on Friday when their satellite phones apparently went down, said P.C. Dandriyal, a local official in the northern state of Uttarakhand.

"We have lost track of over 100 mountaineers, hikers, porters and guides from India and abroad who are stranded across Uttarakhand after heavy snowfall," Dandriyal said.

It has been snowing heavily in the mountains for the past 36 hours and weather forecasters expected more snow over the weekend.

The trekkers were part of four teams and included four Russian climbers, seven Germans, and one from Australia. The rest were Indians. At least 60 cooks, porters and guides were among the stranded, Dandriyal said.

Officials did not release the name of the trekker who died or the circumstances of his death.

Three of the teams began their trek on Sept. 18 near Gangotri, a Hindu pilgrimage site, while the fourth started the following day. They were supposed to finish by Oct. 5 at the holy shrine of Badrinath.

The local government has asked the Defense Ministry to send helicopters to search for the missing.