Several soldiers missing under snow; 28 houses damaged in Budgam
Srinagar: Ten army soldiers were killed after two snow avalanches hit their camps in Bandipora’s Gurez on Thursday, taking the death toll in the ongoing spell of snowfall to 16 in Kashmir.
A police spokesperson said the soldiers of 51 Rashtriya Rifles were buried alive in avalanche after it struck their camp at Manzgun Neeru valley in Tulail.
On Wednesday, an avalanche struck an army camp in Gurez sector in which 10 soldiers were missing. The army said an operation was launched amid snowfall in the higher reaches during which an army officer and six soldiers were rescued. Bodies of three soldiers were retrieved on Thursday, army said.
In the same area, another avalanche hit soldiers when they were walking towards their post in the high altitude region. Seven bodies have been retrieved so far. However, the number of missing soldiers could not be known.
Because of snowfall for the third consecutive day, Srinagar-Jammu highway remained closed and no flights took off or landed at the Srinagar Airport.
Several villages in north Kashmir remained cut off with rest of the valley, while power supply was also disconnected in snow bound areas.
In north Kashmir, which received abundant snow in the ongoing spell, several villages in Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla and Handwara remained cut off.
Electricity has been restored partially in towns but majority of areas have been reeling under dark from Tuesday because of damage to power lines.
A house belonging to Ghulam Qadir Bhat of Panzlaa Rafiabad was partially damaged after its snow-covered roof caved in. However, the inmates of the house were evacuated to safety.
In Budgam, 28 structures including 12 residential houses, three shops and an Imambada were damaged due to heavy snowfall.
In Ganderbal district, a two storied residential house owned by Ghulam Mohd Najar of Akhal in Kangan area collapsed. Nobody was injured in the incident.
A shop owned by Ghulam Mohuddin Sheikh at Check Konmula in the same area was also damaged. Majority of the villages remained cut off due to accumulation of snow.
In Srinagar, the snowfall continued for the third day, disrupting daily life. The roads were deserted in view of shutdown call by pro-freedom groups on R-day in the Valley. Public transport was off the roads.