2 avalanches hit Gurez Sector, 10 soldiers killed, 4 missing
Ten soldiers were killed and four went missing after two avalanches hit Gurez Sector of Kashmir, an army official said on Thursday.
An avalanche hit an army camp in Gurez sector of Bandipora district near the Line of Control on Wednesday evening in which several soldiers were trapped, the army official said.
He said rescue operations were launched and seven soldiers including a Junior Commissioned Officer were saved.
"Bodies of three soldiers were retrieved his morning," he said.
The official said another avalanche hit a patrol party which was on its way to a post in Gurez sector last evening.
"Rescue teams have so far retrieved seven bodies from the spot of the incident," the official said.
He said search and rescue operation to find the missing soldiers are on.
On Wednesday, an officer was killed in an avalanche at Sonamarg in central Kashmir Ganderbal district while four members of a family also died in another avalanche in Gurez sector.
Authorities have issued a high danger avalanche warning in hilly parts of snow-bound Kashmir valley in view of fresh snowfall which has been going on intermittently for past three days.
Meanwhile, a high danger avalanche warning was again issued on Thursday for some avalanche-prone slopes of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
Chandigarh-based Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) issued the warning that would be valid for the next 24 hours starting at 5 pm on Thursday.
A SASE advisory said on Thursday that "high danger" warning is in place for avalanche prone slopes in Kupwara, Bandipora, Anantnag, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Budgam, Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Reasi, Doda, Kishtwar and Kargil districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
High-danger avalanche warning for the same period has also been issued for avalanche prone slopes in Kullu, Chamba, Lahaul and Spiti, Mandi, Kangra, Sirmour, Shimla and Kinnaur districts of Himachal Pradesh.
"People are advised to keep clearing the snow deposition from rooftop of their houses/bunkers to avoid damages," it said.
SASE said fresh snowfall had occurred at many places in J&K and HP until early on Thursday.
Banihal Top (25 cm), Haddan Taj (37 cm), Gulmarg (64 cm), Drass (49 cm) in J&K and Solang Nala (30 cm), Dhundi (93 cm) and Bahang (17 cm) in HP had received fresh snowfall.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of 10 soldiers in two avalanches in Gurez Sector of Kashmir.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister said he was "deeply saddened" at the death of the jawans.