The body of an Israeli woman missing in Nepal has been found and identified by a rescue team scouring the area since deadly blizzards struck the Himalayas last week, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
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Michal Cherkesky's body was found by the Israeli insurance company team Harel 669 in coordination with the Nepalese army.
The 36-year-old's family has been notified, and embassy staff in Kathmandu are working to transfer her remains to Israel. Her funeral will be held on Tuesday at the Masu'ot Yitzhak cemetery.
"When someone dies, especially when a life is cut short under tragic circumstances, people always say, 'they were great, they were the salt of the earth,'" said Hagit Hornstein, a friend and colleague of Cherkesky. "But Michal really was perfect. There's no other word to describe her, an angel. I miss her already."
Nepal wrapped up rescue operations in its northern mountains Monday, saying all the hikers believed to have been stranded on a trekking route by a series of deadly blizzards are now safe.
At least 39 people, including trekkers from Canada, India, Israel, Slovakia, Poland and Japan, died in the blizzards and avalanches that swept the Himalayas last week.
The last rescue helicopters hovered over Mustang, Manang and Dolpa districts on Monday, said Yadav Koirala of Nepal's Disaster Management Division. All the casualties were in those three districts northwest of the capital, Katmandu.
"We believe that all the trekkers and guides have been helped and as far as we know there are no more people stranded on the route," Koirala said, adding that some soldiers would remain camped out in the area.
So far, 35 bodies have been identified. The bodies of 12 of these trekkers and guides were flown to Katmandu on Monday and taken to the T.U. Teaching Hospital morgue for autopsies. Among them was Cherkesky's body.
Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz of the Chabad mission to Kathmandu has said he met the 36-year-old before she left for her trek. "She was a friend of Noam Havlin, who was killed in an avalanche here 13 years ago. For her, visiting here was coming a full circle."
Lifshitz said Cherkesky was very excited to go on the trek and spoke to his wife about the events that took place over a decade ago.
Cherkesky's family had been in contact with the rescue teams on the ground has managed to speak with trekkers who were with her when the storm began.
According to a witnesses, she was last seen close to the peak of Mount Annapurna, and the group's Nepalese guide fled down the mountain with her bag.
Cherkesky's brother said his family last heard from her on October 8, when she sent them photos of her trip.
The funeral of Agam Luria, 23, another Israeli killed in the disaster, will be held Tuesday at 3:30 P.M. at the cemetery in Yifat, a kibbutz in northern Israel.