Neelum Valley avalanche incident:Death toll rises to 73

12:23 PM | 15 Jan, 2020

ISLAMABAD - The death toll in glacier and landslide related incidents following heavy snowfall in different areas of Neelum Valley in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) raised to 73 in the last 24 hours.

According to media reports, so far 53 injured have been shifted to nearby hospitals by the help of Pakistan Army and local administration. The incidents took place in over 15 villages of Neelum valley, a district city of AJK.

According to an initial assessment, 52 houses were fully destroyed while 82 partially damaged. Most of causalities 43 have been reported from Surgan valley.

According to State Minister Disaster Management Authority, Ahmad Raza Qadri, efforts are made to reach to the affectees as early as possible.

Teams of State Disaster Management Authority and other relevant departments are busy to recover the missing persons from under the snow.

Meanwhile, Azad Kashmir Prime Minister, Raja Farooq Haider Khan has expressed deep sorrow over the loss of precious lives and damage to property.

Raja Farooq Haider directed to establish relief camps in the affected districts urgently and accelerate rescue and relief activities in rain and snow hit areas of Azad Kashmir.

Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa has expressed grief over the loss of precious lives due to snow-slide in Azad Kashmir and Balochistan.

The Army Chief conveyed condolences to the bereaved families.

The Army Chief directed to provide continuous assistance to civil administration for rescue and relief operation.

According to the ISPR, the Army helicopters are undertaking operations in snow hit areas of Sharda, Sargan, Bakwal and Taobat.

Pakistan Army Urban Search & Rescue teams are evacuating the stranded population. Tents, blankets, Rations and Medicine are being provided to the affected families.

Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, Ali Amin Gandapur has also expressed deep sorrow over the deaths caused by land sliding due to severe snowfall and heavy rain in AJK, the Radio Pakistan reported.

In a statement, he directed the local administration to provide all possible assistance to people in affected areas. He also directed to provide best medical treatment to the injured.

The Minister said the federal government will take every possible step for relief in affected areas and the people as well.