Snow Fury: Death Toll Rises To 22

Srinagar: Four bodies of army men killed in a snow avalanche were recovered on Friday in Kashmir’s Gurez sector. With four more bodies recovered, the death toll of army men killed in the avalanche which hit an Indian army camp on Wednesday rose up to fourteen. On Thursday, a patrolling party of the army was also hit by another avalanche.

“Four more bodies of soldiers were recovered from the avalanche site by rescue teams,” said Srinagar based defence spokesperson, Col Rajesh Kalia, “The death toll has now risen to 14.”

In another snowstorm incident, one elderly man died today in Lachipora, Uri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, a police official said.

The avalanche struck the army camp in Gurez sector of J&K on 25 January, in which 10 Army officers of 51 RR died and four were missing in Tulail area of Gurez in Bandipora district.

Kalia said, “timely help of the villagers of Mahazgund ensured saving of six soldiers.”

He said concerted efforts of the specially equipped Avalanche Rescue Teams have led to recovery of mortal remains of all the soldiers who were part of this patrol.

“Fateh Mohammad Mughal, 60, was buried alive in snow after avalanches hit him,” said Station House Officer (SHO) Bijhama, Uri Aijaz Ahmad.

Meanwhile, on the third consecutive day the residents across the Kashmir Valley continued to suffer losses due to the heavy snowfall.

According to reports, over 20 houses including two Masjids, and many cowsheds got damaged from past 24 hours.

The houses damaged in several areas particularly north Kashmir including Langate, Kralgund, Kupwara, Ganderbal, Gurez, Sopore and other places.

Besides, apple orchards got also damaged in the north Kashmir areas.

Reports said that during the intervening night of Thursday/Friday, in Mandigam area of Kralgund, the rooftop of the houses belonging to two brothers identified as Ghulam Ahmad Teli and Ghulam Muhammad Teli got damaged.

In the nearby village, Lokipora, a wall of a local Masjid got damaged due to the heavy snowfall from past couple of days.

Besides north Kashmir, two houses were also damaged in central Kashmir areas.

List of 15 Army Men Killed In Snow Avalanches in Kashmir

1. Major Amit Sagar, resident of Janakpuri, New Delhi

2. Nb Sub Aram Singh Gurjar, resident of Karoli, Rajasthan

3. Hav Vijay Kumar Shukla, resident of Murena, Madhya Pradesh

4. Sepoy Devander Kumar Soni, resident of Shahdol, MP

5. Nk Ajit Singh, resident of Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh

6. Sepoy Azad Singh, resident of Farukkhbad, Uttar Pradesh

7. Sepoy Anand Gawai, resident of Akola, Maharashtra

8. Sepoy Sanju Suresh Khandare, resident of Akola, Maharashtra

9. Sepoy Samundare Vikas, resident of Beed, Maharashtra

10. Sepoy Elaverson B, resident of Thanjaur, Tamil Nadu

11. Sepoy Sundar Pandi, resident of Maduri, Tamil Nadu

12. Sepoy Nagaraju Mamidi, resident of Vijayanagar, Andhra Pradesh

13. Sepoy Sandeep Kumar, resident of Hassan, Karnataka

14. Sepoy Sunil Patel, resident of Panchmahal, Gujarat

15. Cfn Ankur Singh, resident of Haryana


Gurez Residents Being Relocated: Official              

Thousands of people are living under avalanche threat in Gurez sector in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, however, Bandipora district administration is taking all measures for their safety and is relocating them at safer places.

In Gurez tehsil, 28 villages, with a population more than 25 thousand, are living under dangerous avalanche threats.

Residents of villages including Abdullan, Achora, Wanpora, Budungam, Burnai, Gujriya and other are frightened as the risk of avalanches has increased.

“There is no communication between communities and people are afraid of coming out from their houses. The residents are short of food and water. Hundreds of patients are without medicines,” a local said.

The main roads are blocked and no one can go up to hospital.

The Additional district commissioner Bandipora, Khursheed Ahmad Ganie told KNS that they have sent rescue teams towards the area and all efforts are on to get people in safer people.

He said, “most of people have been shifted from danger zones towards safer areas like Tulail and Dawar, where medical teams have been deputed.”

Avalanche Warning Renewed

Authorities on Friday renewed a ‘high danger avalanche warning’ in hilly parts of snow-bound Kashmir valley in view of fresh snowfall which has been going on intermittently for past three days.

The Divisional Administration Kashmir today issued a high danger avalanche warning valid from January 27 to January 28, 2017 for hilly and avalanche prone areas in the Division.

 “High danger avalanche warning valid for next 24-hours from January 27 to January 28, 2017 (1700 hrs) exists for avalanche prone slopes in Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Kulgam and Budgam, and Kargil districts of Kashmir division,” a statement of the Divisional Administration said.

Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir Division including Leh and Kargil have been asked to take precautionary measures in their respective districts and advise people not to venture in avalanche prone areas and to keep clearing snow depositions from roof tops of their houses and bunkers to avoid damages.

Finally, Sun Comes Out; Weather To Remain ‘Clear’

After week-long weather woes due to moderate to heavy snowfall, sun finally came out in Kashmir on Friday providing the much needed relief to the people from the chill in Kashmir valley.

However, majority of the roads were waterlogged after snow started to melt from rooftops and open fields, besides roads in the Valley, including summer capital, Srinagar, where night temperature was above normal though maximum was below normal.

A Met department spokesperson said that light snowfall will occur during the next 24 hours at isolated places in Kashmir valley. However, the spokesperson added that the Western Disturbance which has been responsible for giving recording breaking snow and rain over hilly states of North India has finally cleared away the region.

With this, Jammu and Kashmir will get much needed much break from the continuous rain and snow. However, remnants of the system may give isolated rain and snow over few parts of Kashmir region.

Leh in Ladakh region was the coldest place in the region after mercury witnessed a dip of about two degree. Against minus 3.6 degree Celsius recorded yesterday, the night temperature was minus 5.1 degree C.

Even though the night temperature recorded at world famous ski resort of Gulmarg was about three degree above normal; it was still the coldest place in the Valley.

The ski resort received 41 cm of fresh snowfall and 40.2 mm of rain during the last 24 hours.

Against minus 3.2 degree C recorded yesterday, the night temperature was minus 4 degree C in Gulmarg.

Only vehicles with chains attached to their tyres are being allowed on Gulmarg-Tangmarg road in the wake of slippery conditions of the road due to heavy snowfall in the area.

After receiving 2 cm fresh snow and 10.5 mm rain till this morning, sun came out from behind the clouds in the summer capital, Srinagar much to the delight of people though day temperature was still five degrees below normal. However, snow on roof tops, besides on both the sides of roads has started melting due to sunshine in Srinagar, where various roads have been waterlogged.

The mercury in Srinagar further dipped and settled at minus 0.8 degree, against minus 0.3 degree recorded yesterday. But, the night temperature was still above normal due to cloudy skies.

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