Thirteen Killed In J&K Avalanches, Snowstorms

Thirteen Killed In J&K Avalanches, Snowstorms

12 March 2014
The Hindu
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

Srinagar: Thirteen persons have reportedly died and 30 injured in different incidents of snow avalanches, lightning and flash floods during three days of incessant rains and snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir Monday through Wednesday. Official sources told The Hindu that in all 13 persons had been reported dead and over 30 injured till Wednesday afternoon. According to these authoritative sources, Naik Vijay Pratap and Sepoy Dharmendra of 288 Medium Regiment of Army died when their shed collapsed under the impact of snow avalanche at their camp at Batra in Kargil. In another incident, three labourers from Nepal were buried under an avalanche when the stone quarry caved in near Kargil. In Kashmir valley's Kulgam district a Gujjar family was buried under their hut at Balsaran, in Damhal Hanjipora foothills of Pir Panjal mountain range. Sources said three persons -Rashid Gorsi (24), Talib Gorsi (12) and Altaf Gorsi - died and nine of the two affected families were injured. The injured were evacuated and rushed to hospital. About a hundred people, mostly Gujjar and Bakerwal, have been evacuated from Waltengo Naar and other hamlets of Pir Panjal foothills to safer places by the police in Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian and Rajouri districts. Sources said over 200 cattle have perished in different incidents. On Tuesday, Fazi, a 60-year-old woman died when her hut collapsed at Kansu village in Shopian area of South Kashmir. In the rain-hit Jammu province, sources said that Mohammad Ayub (28) of Swari Kotranka, Budhal, Farooq Ahmad of Jij Mahore and Mohammad Arif (22) of Rigoora Sidhra, orginally from Kokernag Kashmir, died in different incidents. The body of Kewal Kishen of Daali Kalakote was recovered from a stream near Sunderbani, Rajouri. Sun shines in Valley Snowfall subsided and sun came out of the thick clouds after three days in the valley. Telecommunication services were restored and markets opened in Srinagar and other towns after three days of snowfall that had disrupted all communication systems. Authorities, however, have not been able to restore power supply in any part of Srinagar or other districts in the Valley as all transmission and distribution systems have been shut down due to massive damages to two major transmission lines connecting Jammu and Northern Grid to Kashmir. Officials said efforts were underway to air drop some engineers over the high altitude sites on Pir Panjal mountain range currently under 6 to 8 ft of snow. Even the four pylons of 220 kv Pampore-Zainakoot line, which were uprooted near Budgam on Tuesday, have not been replaced. The Srinagar-Jammu highway remained closed for traffic due to snowfall in Qazi Gund and landslides on Ramban-Banihal patch. Even as Srinagar airport remained closed on Tuesday, efforts were in progress to operate at least four of the 18 scheduled flights by Wednesday afternoon.