Avalanches Sweep Through Villages in Kashmir, Killing at Least 55

Avalanches Sweep Through Villages in Kashmir, Killing at Least 55

At least 55 people have been killed and several homes swept away in avalanches in the mountainous region of the Pakistan-controlled portion of Kashmir.

The powerful avalanches have also affected the Indian-controlled part of the disputed region, with at least 10 people killed on Tuesday, officials said.

At least three dozen children were struck by an avalanche as they made their way to school Monday morning in the portion of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan, officials said, with one child killed and three others injured.

Most of the casualties took place in the picturesque Neelum Valley, which abuts a river that divides the Pakistani and Indian portions of Kashmir.

At least 10 people are missing and rescue efforts are underway for those buried in the snow, officials said. Helicopters are circling avalanche sites in hopes of spotting survivors while tents and emergency food rations are being sent to affected areas.

At least 19 people died when an avalanche rumbled through one village in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the formal name of the Pakistan-controlled part of the region.

Rains and landslides in other parts of Pakistan were blamed for at least a dozen other deaths since Sunday, with the provinces of Punjab and Balochistan hit hardest.

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