PM Imran visits AJK as death toll from avalanche rises to 70

PM Imran Khan visits the injured in AJK as the avalanche and harsh winter weather killed more than 70

Avalanches, flooding and harsh winter weather have killed nearly 100 people across Pakistan over the last few days. Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s (AJK) was the worst wit where the death toll from an avalanche that had struck the area a day earlier has risen to 70. 

The death toll may continue to rise, as there are fears that many people may still be trapped.

Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the injured at a military hospital in Muzaffarabad – the capital of Azad Kashmir – to review relief operations in the wake of the avalanche.

According to National Disaster Management Authority, the avalanches affected the villages of Surgan, Kel, Lawat, Chaknat and other places of Neelum District, leaving 67 dead, 53 injured, 198 houses damaged including 22 shops, a mosque and 12 vehicles.

“The severe snowfalls and landslides in AJK have caused misery & deaths,” tweeted Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan.

Soon after the incident, Imran Khan had directed the NDMA, the military and all federal ministers to immediately provide humanitarian assistance on an emergency basis to the affected people in AJK.

A high-level meeting of AJK government, chaired by AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider decided to shift the affected population immediately on war-footings to the safer places, besides providing best available medical facilities to the injured.

Pakistan Army, in collaboration with civil administration, is also engaged in the rescue and relief efforts in Neelum Valley. The army is using helicopters to provide food and other relief items to hundreds of people trapped due to roads blocked by thick layers of snow.

In Balochistan province, at least 31 people have been killed in separate weather-related incidents.

Other casualties were reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in the northeastern Punjab provinces, and the Gilgit-Baltistan region.

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