Five Army soldiers were missing as avalanches hit military posts on the Line of Control in north Kashmir’s Kupwara and Bandipura districts on Tuesday. An Army porter was also killed in the state.
The Kashmir valley was cut off from the rest of the country as flight operations at the Srinagar airport were suspended and the Srinagar-Jammu national highway and Mughal road were closed for traffic due to snowfall and rain.
Three soldiers were missing in the Kanzalwan sub-sector in Gurez as the Mani Army post at Bagtoor was hit by avalanches. Two soldiers slipped down the slope in the Naugam sector of Kupwara, said Army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia.
Rescue operations are underway to trace the soldiers who are suspected to be buried under the snow. The porter Ghulam Qadir Khan died in the Tulail area.
Multiple avalanches swept through the area where the 20th Dogra Regiment in Kupwara and 36 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) in Bandipura are deployed. The Kashmir valley and the hills of Jammu witnessing heavy snowfall from Monday night.
Most highways and interior roads are shut for vehicular traffic due to snow and landslides triggered due to rain.
More than four feet of snow has been recorded at Sonamarg in Kashmir.
Police said that the Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed due to heavy snow on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel and landslides and shooting stones at Panthyal, Maroge, Magarkote and Nachlana. The Mughal road was also closed.
The closure of some other roads has virtually cut off far-flung areas from divisional headquarters. Srinagar and the tourist spots of Gulmarg and Pahalgam had the season’s first snowfall, breaking the long spell in the state.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the state Public Works Department (PWD) deployed men and machines to clear the snow but bad weather was hampering the job.