At least 26 trekkers and three farmers are reported to have been killed in a blizzard and several avalanches in the Himalayas in central Nepal.

The highest number of deaths – two Israelis, two Poles and eight Nepalese – occurred when a blizzard hit a point on the Annapurna Circuit.

Many trekkers returning from the circuit remain out of contact, the BBC reported.

Thousands of trekkers visit the Annapurna Circuit every October, when weather conditions are usually favourable for hiking trips.

But avalanches to the east and west have left 10 more people dead or presumed dead, among them Canadians, Slovaks and an Indian as well as local people.

A French man also died after slipping into the Budhi Gandaki river in heavy rains.

Severe rain and snowstorms in Nepal appear to have been triggered by Cyclone Hudhud in neighbouring India.

Hudhud hit southeast India earlier this week – satellite pictures now show it moving away from Nepal towards China.