Kokernag Avalanche

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Published Saturday, February 9, 2019

Two persons have died and 10 missing, including eight policemen, in twin avalanches in Kashmir Valley on February 7.

A senior police officer told The Hindu the entire family was buried under snow avalanche at Sonbrarie-Magam in Anantnag's Kokernag area on late Thursday afternoon.

"A police rescue team has retrieved two bodies and two children were rescued," said the police officer.

In a separate incident, an avalanche hit an building near the Jawahar Tunnel, housing police personnel from different wings, around 6 p.m.

"Around 10 persons, including eight policemen and two detained persons, have gone missing after the avalanche," said an official.

The building where the people are trapped is near the tunnel. A rescue team has approached the building from the other end of the tunnel, which is open from the Jammu side.

However, ongoing heavy snowfall is slowing down the rescue operation. The personnel of the State Disaster Response Force has decided to carry on the operation in the night, an official said.

They have employed snow-clearing machines to reach the building. Earlier in the day, several houses were damaged in the south and central Kashmir due to a fresh spell of snowfall in the valley on Thursday.

Over a dozen civilians were rescued in central and north Kashmir by the police after avalanches trapped them in their villages. According to the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), a high-level avalanche warning was issued for upper reaches of the south and north Kashmir for the next 24 hours.

All residents were asked to avoid venturing into the avalanche-prone areas.
Source: DORRIS