At least 12 trekkers have died and up to 80 people are still not accounted for after an avalanche hit a popular trekking circuit in central Nepal.

Initial reports were that four hikers were dead after the party lost communication due to heavy rain and snowfall while trekking on the popular Annapurna route in the Thorung La mountain pass.

But Indian authorities are now saying the death toll has reached 12. Four Canadians, two Poles, an Israeli, an Indian and a Nepali person are among the dead, and up to 80 people are believed to be still missing.

Forty survivors, however, have been rescued.

A group of 168 people - a mix of locals and tourists - were trekking in the Himalayas, about 160km (100 miles) northwest of the capital Kathmandu, when a few of them lost contact because of the severe weather caused by Cyclone Hudhud, which has killed 24 people in neighbouring India.

Govinda Pathak, senior police officer in Mustang in northern Nepal, said that about 70 to 80 of the tourists who crossed the pass were still missing on Wednesday evening, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In a separate incident, Devendra Lamichanne, chief officer of the Manang district, said that the bodies of two yak herders, who went missing in Naar village in Manan, had been recovered. But one was still believed to be missing after the avalanche on Tuesday.

Nepal has been experiencing bad weather since Cyclone Hudhud hit India; severe weather conditions have killed 24 people and damaged thousands of homes with falling trees and masonry.

Authorities in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa on 14 October were stepping up efforts to provide aid to 400,000 people affected by the cyclone.