Four members of a family died on Wednesday after their house collapsed due to heavy snowfall in Kashmir’s northern district of Bandipora, officials said on Wednesday.
“Army officials have informed me that the house collapsed due to heavy snowfall burying alive four members of a family,” Bandipora deputy commissioner Sajad Hussain Ganai said.
Officials said that the house collapsed in Budu village of Tulail in Bandipora.
The dead have been identified as Habibullah (55), his wife Azizi (50), their son Irfan Ahmad (22) and daughter Gulshan (19).
The deputy commissioner said that one member of the family has survived but was not able to provide further details.
However, police said that the house came under snow after an avalanche. Officials said the area is avalanche prone and that there were six to seven feet of snow after the latest snowfall from Tuesday.
Man dies in roof collapse
In frontier district of Kupwara, a man died as the roof of his house collapsed.
Police said Abdul Gani was clearing snow from the roof of his house when it suddenly collapsed in Kralpora area of Kupwara.
“The man died while another of the inmates was injured,” said an official.
He said that the snowfall continued in the district for the second consecutive day and it was already crossed 3 feet in Kralpora.
Road, air traffic hit
The third spell of snow in January started in Kashmir from Tuesday disrupting road and air traffic and forced Kashmir University authorities to postpone examinations scheduled to be held up to (and including) January 26.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway, which connects Kashmir valley to rest of India, was closed on Tuesday afternoon due to slippery road conditions and the threat of shooting stones. All flights to and from the Srinagar International Airport also remained suspended on Tuesday due to poor visibility.
After a relatively dry month of December, Kashmir received good snow on January 6-7 and there was another spell on January 16-17.
“This is after four years that we have received a good snowfall in the month of January and we are expecting more snowfall for the next two days,” an official of meteorological office in Srinagar said.
The snowfall is expected to continue for the next two days and may affect the official Republic Day celebrations on January 26.
The Kashmir valley is passing through Chillai Kalan (intense winter) which started from December 21 and lasts for 40 days followed by Chillai Khurd (20 days which are less intense) and Chillai Bache (10 days of mild cold).
In Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar, a residential house belonging to Arshida resident of Panthchowk came under a sliding boulder, resulting in damage to the house.
Police also launched an operation to shift some 25 families comprising 150 members from avalanche-prone Khadiyall and Ismarg villages of Gurez in Bandipora to safer areas.
In Baramulla district’s Sopore, police said that they received information about two pregnant women, in need of hospitalisation, were stranded in their homes due to heavy snowfall.
“The police team cleared the snow on roads and both the ladies were shifted to sub district hospital Rohama. However one of the ladies gave birth to the child while on way to hospital,” a police spokesman said.