19 April 2019, Friday | 03:17am

Ten trapped by avalanche in Indian Kashmir

2019-02-08

SRINAGAR, India: Rescuers battled Friday to reach the site of an avalanche that buried 10 people in Indian-administered Kashmir following two days of heavy snowfall across the region, police said.

The avalanche hit a fire emergency facility late Thursday in the Banihal area of the Kashmir valley. Six police, two prisoners and two other personnel had taken refuge there during a storm.

“We have not been able to rescue anyone so far because of the bad weather and the heavy accumulation of snow,“ Kashmir inspector general of police Swayam Prakash Pani told AFP.

Another man died on Thursday when his home was buried under an avalanche in the southern Kukarnag area.

The avalanche in Banihal came after two days of heavy snowfall that cut electricity supplies to many areas and blocked roads.

More than 50 flights in and out of the main city of Srinagar were cancelled.

Authorities have also started rationing petrol and diesel as supplies in the Kashmir valley are running low. Bad weather has disrupted essential supplies for two weeks.

Kashmir suffers regular winter disasters.

On Jan 18 a massive avalanche hit a high altitude mountain pass in the remote Ladakh area, near the border with China, killing 10 people. Rescuers took a week to retrieve the bodies.

Last year 11 civilians died in an avalanche at Kupwara near the Line of Control that divides Kashmir between Indian and Pakistan-controlled sectors. In 2017, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a series of avalanches.

In 2012, a wall of snow engulfed a camp below the Siachen glacier on the Pakistani side of the territory, killed 140 people, mostly Pakistani soldiers. — AFP

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