PM orders humanitarian assistance for avalanche-hit people in AJK

Published: January 14, 2020
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Injured avalanche victims arrive in an army helicopter following heavy snowfall in Neelum Valley, in Muzaffarabad, the capital of AJK on January 14, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

Injured avalanche victims arrive in an army helicopter following heavy snowfall in Neelum Valley, in Muzaffarabad, the capital of AJK on January 14, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to provide humanitarian assistance in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), where at least 57 people have been killed as avalanches and landslides hit the region in extreme cold weather.

More than 75 people have died across Pakistan as the country remains in the icy grip of a freezing cold snap with Balochistan and AJK being the worst hit regions where heavy snow plummeted temperatures, clogged roads, snarled travel and brought life to a standstill.

The premier, in a tweet, said that the severe snowfalls and landslides in AJK have resulted into misery and deaths.

Over 75 people killed as severe cold wave grips country

“I have asked the NDMA [National Disasters Management Authority], the military and all our federal ministers to immediately provide all humanitarian assistance on an emergency footing to the affected people in AJK,” he wrote.

Officials have said that many villagers were still stranded in the avalanche-hit areas of Neelum valley in AJK following heavy rains that also triggered landslides.

Many people were reported missing and feared dead as rescue efforts got underway, one of the officials said.

As many as 42 injured people were shifted to nearby hospitals. According to available data, 45 houses are fully destroyed.

Teams of NDMA and other relevant departments are carrying out relief operation in affected areas.

The avalanche-hit people are being provided food, blankets, medicines.

COAS directs for continued assistance to civil administration

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has expressed deep grief on loss of precious lives due to avalanches and landslide in AJK and Balochistan and conveyed condolences to the bereaved families.

The army chief also directed military officials for continued assistance to civil administration in rescue and relief operations, said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Military helicopters are currently undertaking operations in snow-hit areas of Sharda, Sargan, Bakwal and Taobat in AJK.

PHOTO: ISPR

Pakistan Army’s urban search and rescue teams are evacuating stranded people while providing paramedics, tents, blankets, food rations and medicine to the affected families in the cold-hit areas.

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