Bodies of Three Soldiers Found After Avalanches Hit Ladakh

Authorities have closed down all schools in the Valley till Sunday in view of the rain at this time of the year.

Bodies of three Indian Army soldiers have been found after a series of avalanches, triggered by unprecedented snowfall, hit the Batalik sector of Ladakh on Thursday. Five soldiers at an Army post were trapped and two of them were rescued after the avalanche struck.

"Rescue operation for the remaining three soldiers is in progress. Specially trained Avalanche Rescue Teams have been deployed to rescue them," the official said.

According to the MeT department, Srinagar received 83.9 mm rain and snowfall since Wednesday while Kokernag in south Kashmir received 69.9 mm of rains in the same period.

A flood advisory was issued in south and central Kashmir after rise in the water level of the Jhelum river and its tributaries, while incessant rains have forced closure of the arterial Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

The downpour has triggered landslides and shooting stones at several places along the 300-km road. Jhelum has crossed the 'alarm level' of 18 feet at Sangam in Anantnag district.

As many as 20 Army personnel including a major and a Junior Commissioned Officer lost their lives in three separate incidents of avalanches in Sonamarg area of Ganderbal, Gurez in Bandipora and Machhil in Kupwara districts in January this year.

Authorities have closed down all schools in the Valley till Sunday in view of the rain and snowfall at this time of the year.

In Kokernag area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district, two people are feared drowned while five others were rescued after a cab skidded off the road and fell into an overflowing stream, police said.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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