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Heavy snowfalls claim 184 lives in J&K

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
Last updated on: February 23, 2005 19:38 IST
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The heavy snowfalls in Jammu and Kashmir have claimed at least 184 lives. Agency reports said 203 people have died.

Villages in Anantnag and Poonch have been severely affected. Rescue teams managed to reach the worst-hit Waltingoo village near Jawahar tunnel in Anantnag on Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities said the massive snow accumulated on the ground was hampering their efforts.

"There is nearly 15 feet of snow in these foothill villages struck by avalanches that rolled down the Pirpanjal mountains," a senior police official in Anantnag told over phone.

The officer, who did not want to be named, said rescue teams have so far recovered 150 bodies from the village, where avalanches washed away 200 houses on Saturday. He said 31 bodies were recovered from other foothill villages near Qazigund.

Joint rescue teams comprising personnel from the army and the local police, besides civilian volunteers, left for Qazigund on Tuesday morning braving snow blizzards and zero visibility. "They are in touch with us and doing everything possible to locate survivors," the officer added.

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar