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7 Armymen, 8 others buried in avalanches
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, January 9
At least 15 persons, including seven Army personnel, one of them a JCO, and eight civilian porters have been buried alive in avalanches near the LoC in the Machil and Uri sectors in the past few days.

A defence spokesman told The Tribune here today that one JCO, six other Army personnel and eight civilians were buried and missing in the avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall in the mountainous ranges in the past few days. A number of avalanches have been triggered in the mountain passes along the LoC affecting the Army vigil.

Rescue operations had been launched to retrieve the bodies, the spokesman said adding apart from the normal compensation to the service personnel, a relief of Rs 60,000 each had been sanctioned for the missing civilian porters.

Shimla: Normal life in the state was affected as heavy rainfall and snow continued to lash the region for the second consecutive day today. About 200 workers were stranded after an avalanche blocked the Sangla-Karcham road in Kinnaur district. The district administration swung into action and rescued them by the evening.

The tribal Kinnaur in particular was experiencing heavy snowfall with the district headquarters Rackong Peo receiving 105 cm of snowfall for the past 36 hours. It was the heaviest since 1992 when 200 cm of snowfall was recorded in five days.

The district authorities have alerted the people living in avalanche-prone belts to be careful while moving out of their houses. Most of roads in district have been blocked bringing movement of vehicular traffic to a halt.

All communication links in district have been snapped due to heavy snowfall. Power supply and telecommunication have also been disrupted in many areas.

The upper areas of Shimla district were cut off as heavy snow blocked roads. Traffic on Hindustan-Tibet Highway was disrupted as long stretches of the road were covered by snow. The major blockade was at Narkanda, which recorded 60 cm of snowfall. Rohru area was also cut-off from Shimla as heavy snow blocked the state highway at Kharapathar.

Dhundi in Kullu recorded the maximum 110 cm of snowfall, followed by Solang Nullah 80 cm, Hatu Peak 75 cm, Reckong Peo 50 cm and Keylong 45 cm. The Churdhar range and Chanshal slopes were having incessant heavy snowfall for the past 48 hours.

The state reeled under intense cold with Patsio recording the lowest temperature of - 7C, followed by Keylong - 4.7C and Kalpa - 2.5C.

Manali and its adjoining areas experienced fresh snowfall, while the lower parts were lashed by rain, renewing cold wave in the region. The entire upper Manali region has been covered with a thick blanket of snow. The snowfall, which started last evening, was still continuing and about 25 cm of snowfall was recorded in the town.

The higher regions of Kullu valley, including Pir Panjal range, Hamta ski slopes, Bhrighu slopes, Chanderkhani pass and the 13,050 feet high Rohtang pass.

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