January 14, 2020 11:48 pm

Back to Back Avalanches Wreak Havoc in North Kashmir, Bury 12 Alive 

A family pushes their Auto Rickshaw on a slippery city street Tuesday. Most of the city roads remained blocked for the second day- Pic Abid Bhat / KO

SRINAGAR  More than 38 hours of heavy snowfall and incessant rains wreaked havoc in many parts of Kashmir Valley with North Kashmir bearing the maximum brunt. Here two back to back avalanches left at least twelve people dead and caused extensive damage.

The series of avalanches were triggered by heavy snowfall in the region in the last 48 hours. Civilian volunteers and police rescuers saved many lives. However, several others remain missing.

Heavy snowfall triggered two back to back avalanches in Gagangeer-Kulan area of Ganderbal district on Monday, killing at least five persons, including a father and his two sons. Scores were left injured, while six persons trapped under the snow were rescued by the police. Also more than two and a half dozen houses in the area suffered heavy damage due to the avalanches.

Giving details, Ganderbal SSP said that persistent snowfall in the Kashmir Valley for the past two days had enveloped much of the Ganderball district with around 4ft of snow. A warning was also issued to people not to leave their homes without urgency.

“We got information at 4:30 that two people were trapped in the Raisin area. 12 members of a family were rescued by police and one of the injured was sent to get medical treatment” SSP Khalil Mohammad said.

“At 5:30, another avalanche struck in which nine people were trapped. Police and locals engaged in rescue efforts and four were saved, two died in hospital and after much search overnight, three dead bodies were recovered from under the snow,” police officer said.

Another civilian died in Gurez of Bandipora district.

6 Soldiers Killed

Five Army soldiers were killed after an avalanche hit their post in Machil sector along the LoC in north Kashmir on Tuesday, defence sources said.

The sources said five soldiers were trapped under the avalanche. The Army launched rescue operations and retrieved five bodies.

In a separate incident, a Border Security Force (BSF) personnel was killed and six others were rescued after avalanches hit the Naugam sector near the near the Line of Control.

“Out of the seven troopers deployed in the area, six were safely rescued but one constable trapped could not be revived even after much effort,” a senior officer of BSF said.

Due to heavy snowfall in the last 48 hours, there have been multiple avalanches in several areas in north Kashmir after which a number of soldiers were rescued.

In Kupwara district, an avalanche hit three residential houses in the Limber Boniyar area Monday evening. Five people were rescued from the debris soon after.

On Monday, two teenage girls trapped under a heap of snow after an avalanche in Baramulla district were rescued by locals, officials said.

An Army porter lost his life while three others were rescued after they were struck by an avalanche along the LoC in Poonch district last week, police said.

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