MUZAFFARABAD: At least 69 people have lost their lives and scores other remain missing after their villages hit by avalanches in Azad Kashmir’s Neelum Valley on Monday evening.
SSP Neelum Asif Durrani has confirmed thta 69 bodies have been recovered from the area while dozens other were still missing.
According to reports gathered by the Regional Telegraph, at least 40 people, fearing a snow storm, had taken refuge but all proved to be in vain as their entire village was struck by avalanche.
The village of Sargan Bakwali in Shardan, Neelum Valley, is reported to be worst affected where dozens of people got buried after being hit by avalanche.
Most of those who lost lives were women and children as their houses were struck by avalanche in these village of the Neelum Valley in the wee hours of Monday.
Besides these, villages of Dhakki Chiknar, Kel, Dodhanyal, Lwat Bala are also reported to have been hit by avalanches, as a result of which casualties have been reported.
Pak Army helicopters Jawans reached the affected area by helicopters and have initiated rescue work.
It is pertinent to mention here that various parts of the AJK particularly the upper reaches of the state — Leepa and Neelum valleys and Bagh and Havaili districts — are in the grip of heavy snowfall and torrential rains since previous night, which has badly hit the routine life of people.
Taking cognizance of the tragedy, Prime Minister Imran Khan issued directives to the concerned authorities to provide all possible assistance and relief to people stuck in their areas due to torrential rains and heavy snowfall.