PESHAWAR: At least 10 people were killed and several others trapped beneath thick snow after two avalanches crashed into a village in Chitral in wee hours of Sunday, ARY News reported.
According to rescue sources, disaster struck the village of Shershal in Chitral, with four women and four children among the dead.
The avalanche hit eight homes at around 3am, said Sheema Ayub Khan, a spokeswoman for the Disaster Management Authority in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
She said three people had been rescued from the snow while at least three more were still trapped.
The region has been hit by heavy snowfall that is four feet (1.2 metres) deep in some places.
Shahab Hameed, a senior administration official in the area, confirmed the death toll, adding that most of the area’s roads had been blocked.
It is learnt that at least 10 people had been safely evacuated trapped under the snow. The rescue officials are facing difficulties in transporting the injured to nearby hospitals due to blockage of roads after heavy snowfall.
The personnel of the army personnel were also called to the site for rescue operations. A army official said that the weather is now clear and they have provided helicopter for rescue services.
Heavy snowfall and rain also prompted closure of the Karakoram Highway at many points thus hampering relief activities by the locals.
AFP adds: Shahab Hameed, a senior administration official in the area added that most of the area’s roads had been blocked. “We are trying to reopen the roads and help people,” he said.
Both officials reported that another snow avalanche hit a Pakistani military post at the Afghanistan border near Chitral overnight killing a soldier and injured six others.
An army statement confirmed the toll and said forces were working to rescue people.
Chitral district mayor, Maghfriat Shah, said the city’s airport was shut because of the weather.
Another local official, Muhammad Ilyas, told AFP that people in the affected area were facing medicine and food shortages because of road closures and flight cancellations.
The region’s electricity supply was also disrupted after the main transmission line was damaged. The region has been hit by heavy snowfall that is four feet (1.2 metres) deep in some places.