Srinagar: The fresh spell of snowfall in Kashmir has wreaked havoc in the upper reaches of the valley with snow avalanches killing at least 10 persons including five soldiers.
According to Army spokesperson, five soldiers had gone missing after a snow avalanche hit a post in Shahpur area of Macchil sector in North Kashmir's Kupwara district. After the rescue team traced the soldiers, four of them were declared dead while another was rescued. “He is being treated at an army hospital for injuries,” the spokesperson added.
In another incident at Kupwara, a personnel from the Border Security Force (BSF) lost his life when a snow avalanche hit a BSF post in Nowgam sector. In another incident at Kullan area of Ganderbal district in North Kashmir, nine persons were stuck after an avalanche hit the village.
According to SSP Ganderbal Khalil Poswal, five of them were declared dead as their bodies were recovered from snow while four others were rescued. “The avalanche hit a particular location where the victims from different families were hit,” the SSP told NewsClick.
The administration had earlier issued advisories urging people to stay indoors and avoid long journeys due to heavy snowfall.
In Srinagar city, all major roads and city centres have been inundated with water causing massive inconvenience to pedestrians and commuters. The roads have become slippery and there is no administrative response to deal with the situation.
Even as the only 300 km long road link between Kashmir valley and outside remained shut for vehicular traffic for fourth consecutive day, flight services resumed at the Srinagar airport after a day of disruption.
At the airport, however, aerial passengers claimed they faced massive inconvenience while travelling to and from the airport. “It is absolute chaos at the airport. I had to wait for over an hour and then walk in the frozen road for more than a kilometre to board a car,” a passenger flying from Delhi to Srinagar told NewsClick.
Senior administrative official in Srinagar Rouf ul Islam told NewsClick that there is no further weather advisory in place for Srinagar as dry weather is expected ahead in the coming days. “The administration is on toes and the process of dewatering and maintenance of essential services is being taken care of. But, we are expecting normal supply to be restored within next 24 hours,” he told NewsClick.
Meanwhile, the army was able to rescue a group of tourists who were stranded while at the annual 'Chaddar Trek' on the frozen Zanskar River in Ladakh region.
“Six seriously ill tourists who were suffering from effects of frostbite and High Altitude Pulmonary Odema (HAPO) were evacuated by the helicopters to the Army medical facility in Leh,” the official spokesperson said.