11 including 2 troops dead in avalanches in IOK

Srinagar, March 12, 2014 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, at least 11 people, including two Indian soldiers, were killed while over 100 others were evacuated to safety as the unprecedented snowfall triggered avalanches and damaged over 150 structures including dozens of houses in the territory.

Police said that four persons were killed after an avalanche hit two houses at Paiseran-Dragdun village in Damhal Hanjipora area in Kulgam district early this morning. A 48-year-old woman died after her tin shed dwelling collapsed due to heavy snowfall at Mimigam village in Qazigund. Three labourers were killed when an avalanche hit a stone quarry at Kaksar in Kargil sector.

A 60-year-old woman Fazi died after her house collapsed under the weight of snow at Kansu village of southern Shopian district last night. Two Indian soldiers of 82 field regiment, died after an avalanche hit their camp in Kargil sector of Ladakh. Two other family members were rescued.

14 Gujjar families comprising 65 persons were shifted from Waltengo Nard area of Qazigund in Kulgam district to safer places due to threat of avalanches. Six more families comprising 24 persons were shifted from Meerasi Nallah area of Qazigund to safer places.

Two persons, Qasim Khatana and Mohammad Iqbal Barkat, were rescued from Muspora village and shifted to safety. Quoting preliminary reports, the officials said more than 150 residential and other structures have been damaged due to the snowfall.

Kupwara district has been the worst-hit and the damage could be of higher magnitude than reported so far, the officials said. Heavy snowfall across Kashmir has paralysed normal life in the Valley, snapping its links with the outside world and hitting power and water supply.

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