3 soldiers trapped in avalanche found dead

3 soldiers trapped in avalanche found dead

2 armymen saved through rescue operation

3 soldiers trapped in avalanche found dead

Bodies of three soldiers, who were missing since Thursday after avalanches hit their post in Batalik sector of Ladakh, were retrieved on Friday.

Multiple avalanches hit a post in Batalik near the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday, burying five soldiers, an army spokesman said.

“Rescue operations were launched immediately in which two soldiers were rescued. But, this morning (Friday), three bodies were retrieved from under the snow,” PRO (defence) Rajesh Kalia said.

Reports said heavy snowfall in the past two days in Ladakh triggered multiple avalanches, especially in areas close to the LoC.

In January, 20 armymen lost their lives in avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall in Kashmir. Avalanches and landslides have caused some of the heaviest casualty to the Indian Army near the LoC and Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest altitude battlefield, in the last three decades.

Meanwhile, the flood threat in Kashmir reduced considerably on Friday with water level in River Jhelum and its tributaries receding. However, with weather office predicting more rain in the coming days, authorities are gearing up to tackle any eventuality.

A police officer told DH that the Jhelum was flowing at 20 feet at the Sangam gauge in south Kashmir at 4 pm, compared to 21 feet at 11 am. Flood alert is declared when the water level at Sangam reaches 21 feet.

An official of the MeT department said there is forecast of light to moderate rain on Saturday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and offered all possible support. Modi tweeted, “Spoke to J&K CM @MehboobaMufti on the flood situation in the state. Offered all possible support from Centre in dealing with the situation.”

Heavy rain and snowfall on Wednesday and Thursday led to a sudden surge in the water level of Jhelum and its tributaries forcing the state government to declare flood in Kashmir and urging people living on the banks of the river to move to safer places.

Low-lying areas in Kashmir were flooded, raising apprehension over the scheduled bypoll in Srinagar and Anantnag parliamentary constituencies on April 9 and 12, respectively.

With the forecast of more rain, the Jammu and Kashmir Police have deployed its officers and personnel on the banks of Jhelum to keep a watch on the water level and any possible breaches.