(REUTERS)- The landslides came crashing into villages and homes just after midnight.
One survivor said they sounded like an earthquake. Multiple slides, triggered by torrential rains, struck communities near the resort town of Pokhara, west of the capital Kathmandu.
In the village of Lumle, about half of the homes were buried or destroyed by a torrent of mud and rocks. Soldiers and policemen worked through heavy rain, using little more than shovels and food bowls to search for missing villagers.
The disaster area is close to the Annapurna Circuit-- a popular hiking route around the world's 10th tallest mountain that attracts some 100,000 tourists a year.
Two powerful and deadly earthquakes in Nepal this year have raised the risk of landslides all across this mountainous country. With the rainy season expected to last till September, residents are bracing for more of these landslides.