At least 62 killed after several avalanches hit PoK

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 15, 2020, 03.50 PM(IST)

At least 57 people died and others were missing after avalanches in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir over the last 24 hours, senior government officials informed on Tuesday.

Story highlights

Pakistani officials say, at least 53 houses had been completely destroyed after the avalanches.

At least 62 people were killed and many went missing in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir after several avalanches hit the villages due to the harsh winters.

According to a report, the worst hit was the Neelum Valley area where heavy rains and snowfall triggered multiple avalanches, including one that killed at least 19 people.

Pakistani officials say, at least 53 houses had been completely destroyed after the avalanches.

According to the forecasts, more harsh weather is on the way.

During the winters, the Kashmir area sees frequent avalanches and landslides, often blocking roads and leaving communities isolated.

Authorities have shuttered schools, while several highways and roads were closed across the country's northern mountainous areas, according to officials.

In 2012, an avalanche engulfed a Pakistani army battalion headquarters near the Indian border, killing at least 124 soldiers and 11 civilians.

Meanwhile in western Pakistan, heavy snowfall in southwestern Balochistan destroyed several houses in the mountainous region, killing 17 people.

The disaster management authority declared an emergency in seven districts of the mineral-rich province and sought the army's help for relief and rescue operations.

Key highways connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan were blocked due to heavy snow, forcing officials to suspend transportation of essential goods into Afghanistan.

(With inputs from agencies)