Under snow: Body recovered amid rescue efforts

Published: January 28, 2015
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Bodies of the villagers still missing as search operation continues. PHOTO: AFP

Bodies of the villagers still missing as search operation continues. PHOTO: AFP

GILGIT: Volunteers and rescue workers continued their search on Tuesday for the body of a man buried by an avalanche in Gilgit–Baltistan’s (G-B) Astore Valley a day earlier.

Abdullah is feared to have been killed by the avalanche that struck around 200 kilometres from Gilgit, while the body of one Abdul Majeed has already been recovered. The two villagers were reportedly on a mountain with their herds of goats and sheep when the avalanche struck, burying both of them. Nearly 70 animals also perished.

“The body of one of the men was recovered, while a search for the other is ongoing,” confirmed a police official on Tuesday.

According to locals, the rescue operation was spearheaded by the army, while the district administration helped with coordination.

“The victims were villagers,” said Rafiullah, a resident of Astore. “They were up on the mountain with their goats. The body of Abdullah is still missing though efforts are under way to retrieve it.” He added heavy snowfall triggered the avalanche.

Apart from freezing temperatures, locals also face the misery of roads blocked by snow, he said.

G-B has received a considerable amount of snowfall this week, affecting routine activity in high altitude valleys such as Astore and Naltar.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2015.

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