ANI Photo | 11 dead, 13 injured in avalanche in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan

At least 11 people have been reported dead while 13 others sustained injuries in a snow avalanche that hit Gilgit Baltistan’s Astore district, according to the GB Disaster Management Authority (GBDMA), Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper reported.
A total of eight bodies have been retrieved so far.
The authorities in a report said the incident took place at Shounter Top Pass around 4 pm on Friday.
“At the time of the incident, 25 people of Gujjar family […] were travelling along with [their] cattle from Kashmir to Astore and were hit by the avalanche,” the report, which is available with Dawn said.
It added that a rescue operation was being conducted by Rescue 1122, the district administration and the local community for retrieving the remaining bodies.
The GBDMA said, the 13 injured had been taken to District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Astore and 12 of them were in critical condition.
Earlier, Deputy Inspector General of Police for the Diamer-Astore Division, Tufail Mir, told Dawn that rescue teams were facing challenges in reaching the affected area due to its remote location and difficult terrain.
Furthermore, communication difficulties were also impeding the officials’ efforts.
As per the report, Force Command Northern Areas, a military formation of the Pakistan Army, provide helicopter service, relief items and paramedical staff to assist with the rescue operation, but they couldn’t be flown “to the site due to bad weather conditions”.
“Necessary relief items including tents and food packs, have been provided by GBDMA/ DDMA (district disaster management authority) and line agencies.”
The report further stated that the district administration was closely monitoring the rescue operation while an emergency had been imposed in DHQ Hospital Astore, PHQ and RHQ Gilgit and Combined Military Hospital Skardu, according to Dawn.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief over the loss of lives in the incident.
In a tweet, he prayed for the victims and extended condolences to the bereaved.
Sharif said such incidents were increasing in Pakistan due to climate change and urged the world “to fulfil its responsibility to protect developing countries like Pakistan against the effects [of climate change].” (ANI)

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