Rescue team struggled to save the lives of ten people after an avalanche occurred in Indian-administered Kashmir on Friday, February 8th, according to AFP.
The avalanche was caused by heavy snowfall over two days, which hit a fire emergency facility, cut electricity supplies to many areas, and blocked roads in the Banihal area of the Kashmir valley, late Thursday, February 7th. Added to that, 50 flights in and out of the main city of Srinagar were cancelled.
Six police, two prisoners and two other personnel had taken refuge there during a storm.
"We have not been able to rescue anyone so far because of the bad weather and the heavy accumulation of snow," Kashmir inspector general of police, Swayam Prakash Pani, told AFP. Another man died on Thursday, February 7th when his home was buried under an avalanche in the southern Kukarnag area.
Calls to rationalise consumption of petrol and diesel have been made as bad weather has disrupted essential supplies for two weeks, and the area risks running out of energy.
Avalanches cause regular winter disasters in Kashmir. On January 18th a massive avalanche hit a high altitude mountain pass in the remote Ladakh area, near the border with China, killing ten people.
Last year 11 civilians died in an avalanche at Kupwara near the line of control that divides Kashmir between the Indian and Pakistan-controlled sectors. In 2017, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a series of avalanches along the border.
In 2012, a wall of snow engulfed a camp below the Siachen glacier on the Pakistani side of the territory, killing 140 people, mostly Pakistani soldiers.