Avalanches And Floods Kill Six More In PoK
21 February 2003
The Times of India
Muzaffarabad: Another six people have died in avalanches and floods in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir, bringing the death toll in a wave of bad weather in South Asia in the past week to at least 96. Police said the bodies of a 50-year-old woman and four children were recovered on Thursday from a house destroyed in the avalanche in Surgan, a village in the Neelum Valley some 145 kms northeast of Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan- occupied Kashmir. They said a man was also killed in Bagh district to the southeast of Muzaffarabad on Friday when he was swept away by a flash flood. Police said roads through to the Neelum Valley were blocked by snowfalls and landslides at various points and heavy rain and snow had also disrupted power supplies and phone services. They said 18 people had been killed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir since last Saturday as a result of snow and rains. Officials said four men died in an avalanche on Wednesday evening in the Neelum Valley, which has been buried in up to three metres of snow this week. The deaths in mountainous Kashmir, bring to at least 96 the number of people killed in bad weather since last weekend in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India. Most of the deaths have been in Pakistan, which has seen its heaviest winter downpours in three decades. While costly in terms of life, they have been a blessing for farmers whose crops had been devastated by four successive years of drought.