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Authorities issue fresh avalanche warning in Indian-controlled Kashmir

(Xinhua)

09:38, February 24, 2012

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir Thursday issued fresh avalanche warning for the people inhabiting upper reaches and areas close to the line-of-control (LoC), officials said. "A medium danger avalanche warning for higher reaches of snow bound areas of Chowkibal, Tangdhar, Machhil and Keran areas has been issued," said Aamir Ali, Coordinator Disaster Management Cell."An appeal has been made to people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out, especially during snowfall.

Ali said people living in these snow bound areas were advised to take precautions and avoid venturing in steep and avalanche prone areas for the next two days.

LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani controlled parts.

At least 16 Indian army troopers were killed and three others are reported missing after avalanche hit their camps in the region late Wednesday.

The major avalanche hit the army camp at village Dawar of Gurez in frontier Bandipora district, around 115 km north of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, while a smaller one hit the post in Sonamarg of Ganderbal district around 84 km north of Srinagar.

An army helicopter managed to fly a special team of the military rescuers and sniffer dogs to the area to carry out search. Officials said inclement weather is hampering their rescue work.

Kashmir has a rugged terrain. Landslides and avalanches are often triggered from its mountains during frequent rains and heavy snowfall, the region receives.

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