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10 feared dead in avalanche incidents in Valley

india Updated: Mar 12, 2014 20:32 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Toufiq Rashid
Hindustan Times
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At least ten people are feared dead in two snow bound regions of Kashmir and Ladakh in various avalanche related incidents in the last 24 hours. Valley has witnessed continuous snowfall for over 24 hours and authorities have given avalanche warnings across the state.

While Jammu and Kashmir police has confirmed death of six people including two army personnel. The authorities are yet to confirm reports of three more deaths in Kaksar region of Kargil .

"Seven people have died in Kashmir valley and Kargil. There are reports of three more deaths from Kargil but there is no confirmation as of now," said a police spokesman in Srinagar.

According to police, three persons were killed after an avalanche hit two houses at Paiseran-Dragdun village in Damhal Hanjipora area of south Kashmir's Kulgam district in the early hours on Wednesday.

Eight people were rescued from the two houses. "The avalanche in South Kashmir's Kulgam district has resulted in three deaths and approximately eight people have received injuries. The DC is supervising rescue effort," chief minister Omar Abdullah wrote on microblogging site.

Abdullah said that the state government has offered to place a helicopter to fly out any injured person should the need be felt for any medical assistance.

Conflicting the media reports suggesting a higher death toll in the incident, Abdullah said, "The injured are being treated in the district hospital and the nature of injuries are not reported to be life threatening at this moment."

In another incident two army personnel, Naik Vijay Prasad and Dharmindra Singh of 82 field regiment, died after an avalanche hit their camp in Kargil sector of Ladakh region, police said on Wednesday. Bodies of both the personnel have been recovered.

While police confirmed the death of one woman in Shopian in South Kashmir, reports from Qazigund area say another woman was killed after snow sliding from a roof fell on her.

"Three Nepali labourers are believed to be killed in a stone quarry Kaksar in Kargil sector but we are waiting to retrieve their bodies," an official said.

Police has also evacuated over 100 people in avalanche prone areas in the state. In a major rescue operation, the police and civil administration rescued 58 people caught in snow avalanches in south Kashmir.

At least 48 members of about 10 families from Waltangoo Naad to Vasik Nag, in Qazigund, 80 km south of Srinagar, were rescued from snow avalanche on Tuesday.

With heavy snowfall continuing in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir for almost two days authorities had on Tuesday extended the high danger avalanche warning to more areas in the higher reaches and asked the people not to venture on steep slopes for the next 24 hours.

"On the basis of information from SASE, State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) has issued a fresh high danger avalanche warning for hilly areas of Uri, Tangdhar, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam, Budgam, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and Kargil," an official spokesman said.

He said people living in these snowbound areas have been requested to take precautions and not to venture on steep slopes in the next 24 hours.

Essential services disrupted in the Valley

All services were severely affected in the entire Kashmir valley with both the power transmission lines connecting Jammu and northern grid to Srinagar shut down due to heavy snowfall. According to authorities restoration of power is not likely soon.

The snowfall damaged transmission and distribution networks since Monday.

Internet services are also badly affected in the valley.