Pakistan: 93 killed in avalanches, snow-related incidents
Neelum valley in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is reported to be the worst hit as avalanches continued to damage hundreds of building in the area.
Nearly 100 people are dead and several injured in the massive avalanches and snow-related incidents in Pakistan and PoK. Authorities are rushing to provide humanitarian aid to those hit by the harsh weather conditions in the country.
Neelum valley in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is reported to be the worst hit as avalanches continued to damage hundreds of building in the area, killing 66 people, according to Dawn newspaper.
At least 84 houses and 17 shops have been fully destroyed, while 94 houses and a mosque were partially damaged. Nineteen vehicles have also been damaged in the natural calamity, said Neelum Deputy Commissioner Raja Mahmood Shahid.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said that it was bracing for more human and material losses due to inclement weather conditions.
Twenty people have been killed in Balochistan and at least seven in Sialkot and other districts of Punjab over the past few days, it said.
The rain-related incidents also led to closure of major roads and highways in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Balochistan.
Officials said that the death toll could further go up as some areas in the valley were still inaccessible due to heavy snowfall, it said, adding that the that there is a forecast of another spell of snowfall from Friday.
Expressing concern over the situation, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked authorities to immediately provide humanitarian assistance to those affected.
According to the Express Tribune, the Met Office has also issued a warning highlighting the risk of closure of inter-city roads due to heavy snowfall and rains in the districts of Swat, Kohistan, Shangla, Buner, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Murree, Galyat, Neelum, Bagh, Haveli, Rawalakot, Astore, Hunza and Skardu.
Key highways connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan were also blocked due to heavy snow, forcing officials to suspend transportation of essential goods into Afghanistan, the report said.
Pakistan's Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa condoled the lives lost due to the cold wave that has gripped the country and directed authorities for continued assistance to the civil administration for rescue and relief operations, GeoTV reported.