14 dead as avalanche strikes Chitral

At least 14 people, including six children, were killed in an avalanche in Chitral’s Sher Shal area on Sunday.

Chitral Scouts Commandant Col Nizamuddin Shah told krachireports the bodies of 14 had been recovered from the debris. At least 25 houses have been buried and five houses have been completely destroyed, he said.

Six women, six children, and two men are among those killed, Col Shah said. Nine people injured in the natural disaster have been shifted to Civil Hospital Garam Chashma, according to Radio Pakistan.

Seven security officials were injured in a second avalanche that struck security check posts in Chitral’s Arundu near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, police officials confirmed.

It is unclear how many people have been affected by the avalanche as yet.

Chitral District Nazim Maghfirat Shah told krachireports that due to heavy snowfall in the area over the past two days several families had been shifted to safer locations.

However, he added, some families had remained in the locality which was affected by the avalanche today.

Due to heavy snowfall blocking the main roads, the injured could not be taken to the District Headquarters Hospital for treatment, police officials told krachireports. They were instead taken to smaller medical centres in the area.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has activated the National Emergency Operations Centre to coordinate rescue and relief efforts in the avalanche-hit area.

The NDMA is coordinating the provision of a helicopter for the operations and has also asked the National Highways Authority to fully mobilise its machinery on all critical sections for road clearance.

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