Torrential rains, landslides leave 11 dead in AJK‏

Published March 19, 2016
Damaged the rain caused to a house.—Photo by writer
Damaged the rain caused to a house.—Photo by writer

MUZAFFARABAD: At least 11 people were killed overnight on Friday in different areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) after unrelenting rains triggered landslides and house collapse incidents, police said.

A rockfall hit half a dozen houses in Sarli Sacha Sharqi village, some 41 kilometres northwest of here, said Amirullah, a local resident.

A boulder also destroyed a house, killing all residents of the house including the head of the family, Ghulam Hussain, his wife and four children.

Local residents launched a rescue operation amid heavy rains and thunders and recovered one of his children alive. However, the rest could not survive.

Rescuers were later joined by civil and military officials and so far four bodies were recovered, a police official told Dawn.

The body of Hussain’s wife was yet to be recovered, he said.

In the southern Bagh district, a mass of earth fell on a house in Ochar Mohalla – a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Bagh city, at about 4am.

As a result, Khalid Hussain and his wife Shaheen were trapped inside along with a daughter - while their other three daughters rushed out of home to safety.

Rescuers recovered the young girl alive, but the couple did not survive.

Also in Bagh city, some 150 shops were partially inundated after water level dangerously rose in Hudda Bari Nullah.

People had been demanding construction of bridge on the nullah, but instead the authorities built a causeway which choked back gushing water following the first rain after its construction, causing inundation of shops, said resident Azhar Nazir Abbasi.

In Palla Chaudhriyan village of Haveli district, an isolated portion of a house caved in, killing Zaibunnisa, 26, and her infant daughter. Another daughter was seriously injured.

In Chaffar village of Poonch district, a 3-room house of Abdul Hamid Minhas caved in, leaving his wife Nasrin Akhtar, 45, and daughter Habiba Hamid, 12, dead.

Police said rains had blocked most of the inter and intra city arteries and concerned officials were clearing them for vehicular and pedestrian movement.

The Meteorological De­p­ar­t­ment said in a report on Tuesday that the fresh rain spell might continue from Thursday to Saturday. It could cause flash flooding in upper areas of Khyber Pakh­t­unkhwa (Malakand, Hazara, Peshawar and Mar­dan), Fata, Rawalpindi division, Islamabad and Azad Kashmir.

Incidents of landslides and avalanches in hilly areas of KP, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir are highly likely during this period.

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