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Avalanche in Bandipora’s Gurez area

Jawans stand guard on the eve of the Republic Day as it snows in Srinagar on Wednesday.  

Six people including an Army Major were killed on Wednesday after avalanches hit the Kashmir Valley.

Over 150 people were moved to safety in the wake of looming avalanches.

A Srinagar-based Army spokesman told The Hindu that a soldier died after an avalanche struck an installation near a tourist resort of Sonamarg, Ganderbal, 100 km away from Srinagar, on Wednesday morning. The area is under more than six feet snow. Fresh snowfall resulted in more accumulation.

Sources identified the deceased as Major Amit Sagar of the 115 Battalion, associated with the High Altitude Warfare School. The body was recovered in a rescue operation. Around nine soldiers were trapped in the avalanche. “No one is missing,” the Army spokesman said.

In nearby district of Bandipora, four people of a family died after an avalanche buried their house on Tuesday night in Gurez’s Badugam area, collapsing the structure.

The bodies were recovered in a joint operation of security agencies. The deceased were identified as Mehraj-ud-Din Lone, 55, wife Azizi, 50, son Irfan, 22, and daughter Gulshan, 19.

Another person, Abdul Gani Ganie, died in Kralpora village, Kupwara, when the roof, where he was shoving off snow, caved in. Two family members remained trapped for over 40 minutes.

A fresh spell started on Tuesday and is “likely to continue till Thursday as per local meteorological department’s forecast”.

“People should avoid movement in snow-bound hilly and sloppy area for the next 72 hours. The weather spell is likely to disturb air and road traffic in the State,” said an official spokesman.

Connectivity affected

Both the Srinagar airport and the Srinagar-Jammu highway, which connects the Valley with the rest of the country, failed to allow any kind of traffic.

A police spokesman said around 150 people were moved to safer locations in parts of Bandipora in the wake of avalanche threats. “Two pregnant women stranded in their homes in Shalkot and Judinambal areas were also rescued,” said the police.

Over half a dozen houses were damaged in Baramulla, Srinagar and Budgam districts.

The snowfall has badly impacted the daily life in Srinagar. Many remote areas in the Valley remain cut off from their district headquarters. Electricity supply was also impacted.

Chief Engineer, Power Development Department (PDD) Kashmir division, Shahnaz Goni said more than 300 transformers developed technical snag.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 11:34:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Avalanche-in-Bandipora%E2%80%99s-Gurez-area/article17092323.ece

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