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Five soldiers collapse due to avalanches in different parts of Kashmir and Ladakh; several personnel rescued

In an unfortunate incident, as many as five soldiers lost their lives on Tuesday due to avalanches in parts of central and north Kashmir. Among them, four died in an avalanche hat hit a forward post in the Machil sector, while a Border Security Force (BSF) personnel died in an avalanche in the Nowgam sector.

Avalanches also hit Gurez and Rampur sectors on LoC, although there are no immediate reports of damage. It is to be noted that the temperature in Machil, Nowgaam, Gurez and Rangdaar region is around -20 degrees celsius. In Ganderbal, which was hit by the avalanche, the minimum temperature was recorded at -12 degrees celsius on Tuesday.

Over the past 48 hours, there has been unprecedented heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of Gurez, Bandipur, Kupwara, Naugaon and Baramula areas of North Kashmir where Indian Army troops are deployed. 

The lowest temperature reported in areas of deployment is minus 57 degrees in North Glacier (Siachen). 

Approximate fresh snowfall recorded in the areas are as under:-

Gurez Sector – 51 cms

Machhil Sector – 117 cms

Keran and Tangdhar Sector – 56 cms

Naogaon Sector – 122 cms

Uri & Gulmarg Sectors – 61 cms

Over 32 snow slides have been reported in the vicinity of army posts. However, alert and well-rehearsed drills have saved numerous lives and loss to property. In the Kanzalwan area of Gurez, more than 200 troops stationed in the area moved to safer places prior to their location being hit by a major snow slide. 

In the Tangdhar Sector, all seven soldiers who came under a snow slide were safely rescued by alert soldiers of the rescue team. 

Similarly, in the Gulmarg sector, seven soldiers whose shelter came under a snow slide were safely rescued.