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23 February 2020

Avalanche and snowfall in Chitral kill 10 people.

CHITRAL: An Avalanche has killed as many as 10 people in Chitral. According to Deputy Commissioner Chitral, Shahab Hameed Yousafzai, an avalanche hit Shershal village of Karimabad valley, burying 13 people under debris.

DC Chitral confirmed that dead bodies of 3 children, 4 women, and 2 men were recovered from the debris by local volunteers. 4 people including a child and a woman were injured. Those who are critically injured are stranded due to heavy snow blocking the roads. They are unable to get to hospitals.

Commandant of Chitral Scouts, Col.Nizamuddin Shah told that a soldier of the Scouts has died, hit by the avalanche at Dameel Yoshatan post, near Pak-Afghan border. He also confirmed that 5 soldiers survived and 1 injured in the avalanche.

District Nazim Chitral Maghfriat Shah said that Chitral airport is also blocked for all air traffic due to heavy snowfall and bad weather. All major roads connecting Chitral to other areas are blocked.

Last year too, Karimabad valley was hit by a heavy avalanche, thus 9 students at that time had lost their lives.

MPA Saleem Khan alleged PDMA, saying that they failed to facilitate and rescue the people affected by the avalanche. People were unable to get food and lifesaving drugs.

At present link roads of Shershal village are totally blocked. The rescue team is facing great hardships to reach to the area. As per the District police officer, dead bodies of 9 people have been recovered from the avalanche at Shershal. Names of those who have died in this incident were identified but the Dardistan Times would not release the names until relatives of the deceased are informed properly.

Muhammad Ali Shah member Tehsil Council of Chitral has appealed to the high-ups of provincial and federal government as well as NDMA and PDMA to initiate rescue operation and help the people in the entire valley. 

Muhammad Ilyas Nazim village council of Kankhon (Yarkhun valley) said that a lady has died in Chitral hospital but her dead body could not be shifted to her native town, due to road blockage.  

Residents of Chitral facing acute shortage of food and edible items, as the only route connecting Chitral to other parts of the Country is blocked at Lawari top due to heavy snowfall. Flights to Chitral are also canceled.  Supply of electricity is suspended while the main transmission line has been damaged at Lawari top. 

G.H.Farooqui has contributed to this story from Chitral,Pakiistan
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