Death toll from an avalanche and consequent landslide in northern Pakistan has reached 102 and 45 people are still buried in snow, a mayor in the affected area has said.
Last week, heavy snowfall and rain had caused avalanche in Saheri village, some 50 kilometers from Dasu, a main city in the Kohistan district, near the Karakorum Highway, which connects Pakistan and China, according to local police Muhammad Ilyas.
District mayor of Kohistan, Dr Saif-ur-Rehman confirmed that 102 people, including 52 children, have been killed and 45 are still buried in the 15-feet snow. He said that 15 members of a family were among the dead.
He said that the rescue teams have so far pulled out nine injured of the snow and the teams are facing the challenge to evacuate the remaining trapped people.
He said that food, air and drinking water are being provided to the trapped people through a hole but he feared that they may die if more snowfall and rain occurred or the sun melt the snow. He said that if the snow is melted, glacier can killed the trapped people.
“We do not have proper equipment and resources to rescue the people,” the mayor said.
Saif-ur-Rehman said that officials from the National Disaster Management and police officers went to the area but their helicopter could not land due to inclement weather. The helicopter dropped food items and flew back, he said.
The local authorities have requested the government to dispatch proper equipment and food to save the people.
Officials say that all land routes to the affected area are closed due to heavy snowfall and rains over the past few days, which had hindered relief and rescue attempts.
The district mayor said people from the affected villages are moving to safe places on foot and some 200 members of rescue teams had been sent to the area.
Officials say that some people have suffered from psychological problems as they had seen the tragic disaster and now they urgently need medical attention.
A member of provincial assembly from Kohistan said that the government of North West Frontier Province, of which Kohistan is a district, has arranged helicopters for relief and rescue operations. SOURCE