Two overnight avalanches in Jammu and Kashmir, India

two-overnight-avalanches-in-jammu-and-kashmir-india

Indian army officials say two avalanches in snowbound regions of Indian-controlled Kashmir have killed at least three soldiers at 04:05 UTC on Thursday, February 23, 2012.

Several more are feared trapped in a military camp that was partially buried under snow. Col. K.S. Grewal said on Thursday that three soldiers were killed in an avalanche in the mountainous area of Sonamarg.

A second avalanche took place in Dawar, a town close to the militarized line of control that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Part of a massive army camp in Dawar was buried. Both avalanches took place late Wednesday night. Few other details were immediately available.

Update, 07:01 UTC

Eleven army personnel were killed and eight are missing in two overnight avalanches in Jammu and Kashmir, an army official said on Thursday. While eight were killed in Bandipora district, another three were buried under the avalanche in Ganderbal district, the official said. Both the areas are in north Kashmir. Lt. Col. J.S. Brar, spokesman of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps, told IANS: "Eight army troopers were killed and eight are still missing while 13 have been rescued from the avalanche that struck the brigade headquarters in Dawar village of Gurez subdivision of Bandipora Wednesday night."

"Operations are still on to rescue the eight buried under the avalanche," he said. Gurez is located 109 km from here.

"Three soldiers of the Territorial Army, including a junior commissioned officer, were killed in another avalanche that struck an army camp late Wednesday night in Sonmarg resort in Ganderbal," he added. Ganderbal is 87 km from Srinagar. In a third avalanche, more than a dozen hutments in Ramwari area of Ganderbal during the night, but no loss of life occurred in the incident.

The area is inhabited by nomadic goatherds during the summer as they take their flock of sheep and goats there for grazing. Only last week, a major disaster was averted in Ganderbal as a massive avalanche had blocked the passage of water in the Sindh stream that flows to the middle of Sonmarg resort,

Featured image credit: Google Earth

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