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Jammu and Kashmir: Avalanche hits army camp at Sonamarg, five dead including an officer

An army officer and four members of a family were killed in avalanches in Ganderbal and Bandipora districts of Kashmir. An avalanche hit an army camp at Sonamarg in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district this morning, a police official said. He said an army officer — Major Amit of High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) — was buried under the debris of the avalanche.

An army official said one soldier had died after getting trapped under the avalanche. However, the official did not reveal the rank and name of the soldier who lost his life in the incident. In another avalanche incident, four members of a family died as their house was buried under snow in Gurez sector near Line of Control in Kashmir, the police official said.

The avalanche struck Badoogam village in Tulail area of Gurez in the wee hours today and buried the house of Mehraj-ud-Din Lone, a police official said.

He said the house collapsed under the debris of the avalanche resulting in death of 55-year-old Lone, his wife Azizi (50), 22-year-old son Irfan and daughter Gulshan (19).

Lone another son, Reyaz Ahmad, was rescued by the authorities and admitted to a hospital for treatment, the official said. The authorities in Kashmir have issued avalanche warning in higher reaches of the valley following fresh snowfall yesterday and advised people to stay away from the mountains and foothills.

A ‘high danger’ avalanche warning was issued for some avalanche-prone slopes of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Chandigarh-based Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) issued the warning valid for the next 24 hours starting at 5 PM today. A SASE advisory said “high danger” warning is in place for avalanche prone slopes in Kupwara, Bandipora, Anantnag, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Budgam, Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Reasi, Doda and Kishtwar 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 and Kinnaur districts of Himachal Pradesh.

“People are advised to keep clearing the snow deposition from rooftops of their houses/bunkers to avoid damages,” it said.

SASE said fresh snowfall had occurred at many places in both the states since yesterday. Banihal Top (19 cm), Haddan Taj (85 cm), Gulmarg (81 cm), Drass (55 cm) in Jammu and Kashmir, and Solang Nala (22 cm), Dhundi (116 cm) and Patsio (15 cm) in Himachal Pradesh had received fresh snowfall, it added. Meanwhile, an army officer and four members of a family were killed in avalanches in Ganderbal and Bandipora districts of Kashmir today.

Source: dnaindia.com