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25 June 2024

Avalanches kill 8 in Indian Kashmir, force hundreds to leave villages

By Agencies


Avalanches killed at least eight people and forced hundreds more to leave their snowbound villages on Friday in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, officials said.


Six members of one family died when cascading snow buried their village home in India’s Jammu-Kashmir state, said Farooq Khan, a police deputy inspector general.


Police rescued a 2-year-old girl, also a member of the family, from the debris, Khan said.


One woman died after an avalanche struck her village near the frontier dividing the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir, local disaster management official Amir Ali said. The woman’s son and daughter were missing and feared dead, Ali said.


Snow buried and killed a man in a mountain village in another part of Kashmir, said the area’s superintendent of police, S.P. Pani.


Pani said the village received about 3.3 metres of snow this week, and the army and police evacuated hundreds of people from the area to shelters in school buildings in safer places.


An avalanche killed a soldier and two civilians working for the army on Thursday, officials said.


Frequent rain and heavy snow often trigger winter avalanches in Kashmir, which is divided between neighboring India and Pakistan and claimed by both. They have fought two wars over the territory since their independence from Britain in 1947. (AP)