Officials: Series of avalanches kill 12 in Himalayan Kashmir
Srinagar, India – At least six Indian soldiers and six civilians were killed in five separate avalanches in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, officials said Tuesday.
Army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said three separate avalanches hit three frontier Indian army and paramilitary posts in the past 24 hours along the highly militarized line of control that divides disputed Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
Five soldiers were buried under snow when the post was hit by an avalanche Monday night in northern Kashmir.
Kalia said four soldiers died while one was rescued and was stable at a hospital.
In two separate avalanches in north western Kashmir an army and a paramilitary soldier were killed on Tuesday, he said.
Also badly affected by heavy snowfall was the Kashmir valley where six people died because of avalanches.
Baseer Khan, a civil administrator, said nine people were swept by an avalanche on Monday in eastern Kangan area. Four were rescued from the group while bodies of five civilians were later recovered from the snow, he said.
Another civilian also was killed in a similar incident in Bandipora area on Tuesday.
For past two days the Himalayan region has witnessed heavy snowfall resulting in series of avalanches and landslides. Electricity lines were damaged and many roads were buried under snow affecting daily life, Khan said.
Late Tuesday authorities had managed to restore some power supply to the affected areas of the region.
Avalanches and landslides are common in mountainous Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both in its entirety.
They have caused some of the heaviest death tolls for the Indian and Pakistani armies in the region.
In 2017, at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in three avalanches, and in 2012, a massive avalanche in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir killed 140 people, including 129 Pakistani soldiers.