Ten people are feared killed in snow-bound Kashmir and Ladakh in various avalanche related incidents in the past 24 hours. Kashmir has witnessed continuous snowfall for more than 24 hours and authorities have issued avalanche warnings across the state.
"Seven people have died in Kashmir valley and Kargil. There are reports of three more deaths in Kargil, but those reports could not be confirmed as of now," a Srinagar-based police spokesman said.
The police said three persons were killed after an avalanche hit two houses in Paiseran-Dragdun village of south Kashmir's Kulgam district on Wednesday morning. Eight people were rescued from the two houses.
Chief minister Omar Abdullah said the injured are being treated at the district hospital and they would be airlifted if the need for specialised treatment arises.
In another incident two jawans, Vijay Prasad and Dharmindra Singh of the 82 Field Regiment, died after an avalanche hit their camp in Kargil sector of Ladakh region, police said on Wednesday. Their bodies have been pulled out of the debris.
The police confirmed the death of a woman in Shopian in south Kashmir, while reports from Qazigund area said another woman was killed after snow sliding down a roof fell on her.
An official said three Nepali labourers are feared dead in an avalanche in Kaksar area of Kargil. Their bodies are yet to be retrieved, the official said.
The police have evacuated more than 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, among them 10 families comprising 48 members in Waltangoo Naad, 80 km south of Srinagar.
With heavy snowfall continuing in most parts of the state, 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.
The State Disaster Management Authority 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.
All essential services were severely affected in the entire Kashmir valley after power transmission lines connecting Jammu and northern grid to Srinagar were damaged at some places due to heavy snowfall. The electricity supply is unlikely to be restored soon.