At least 55 people were killed and many others were missing after avalanches hit Pakistan-administered Kashmir over the last 24 hours, senior government officials said.Two Pakistani officials quoted by the Reuters news agency said on Tuesday many villagers were still stranded in the avalanches in the Neelum valley area following heavy rains that also triggered landslides.
Many people were reported missing and feared dead as rescue efforts got under way, one of the officials said.
Avalanches, flooding and harsh winter weather has killed more than 110 people across Pakistan and in neighbouring Afghanistan in recent days, officials said on Tuesday, as authorities struggled to reach people stranded by heavy snowfall.
At least 75 people died and 64 were injured across Pakistan, with several still missing. Kashmir has been divided between Indian and Pakistan since their independence in 1947 and for decades tension on the border has left tens of thousands dead. The area is one of the world’s most militarily tense frontiers, where the neighbouring armies have confronted each other over disputed territory for decades. In 2012, an avalanche engulfed a Pakistani army battalion headquarters near the Indian border killing at least 124 soldiers and 11 civilians.