SRINAGAR: At least ten people including three Army jawans were killed and several other persons were injured or went missing after a series of avalanches hit Kashmir during the past 24 hours, officials here said on Tuesday.
A report from Muzaffarabad said that as many as 57 people were killed following heavy snowfall and avalanches in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir over the last 24 hours as the local authorities struggle to clear and reopen highways and evacuate people to safer places.
PoK officials have said that many villagers were still stranded in the avalanches in the Neelum Valley area following heavy snowfall and rains that also triggered landslides. Many people were reported missing and feared dead as rescue efforts got underway, they added.
The plains and upper reaches of Kashmir Valley and also PoK received heavy snowfall on Sunday and Monday, paralysing life in many parts of the Himalayan region.
Officials said that three Army men were killed and another went missing after their post in Machil sector along the LoC in Kashmir Valley’s Kupwara district was swept by an avalanche on Tuesday. They added that five soldiers were trapped under heaps of snow. The Army launched rescue operations and traced four of the soldiers — three of them already dead and the fourth one injured.
One soldier was still missing as reports last came in.
In a similar incident, five civilians, including a man and his two sons, were killed after they were hit by an avalanche in Risen Kolan village of Gagangir area of the Valley’s central district of Ganderbal late Monday night, they said.
The sources said the search operation by locals and police continued throughout the night....