Srinagar: Two persons have been rescued from the avalanche site in Kulgam district and one of them is in critical condition, stated news agency ANI. Police said that at least 10 policemen were trapped inside their post after an avalanche hit the north portal of Jawahar Tunnel in Kulgam district on Thursday evening. The avalanche struck the Qazigund side of the tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, added the police official.

Search operations began to rescue those believed to be trapped. The official said, “Police rescue teams and other concerned agencies have been rushed to the site.” Meanwhile, 10 other policemen at the post near the tunnel were reported safe.

Since Wednesday, Kashmir valley has been witnessing heavy snowfall. The Kulgam district in south Kashmir received the maximum precipitation during the last 24 hours with some places receiving as much as five feet snow, said officials. The Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment has issued an avalanche warning of varying degrees to 16 of the 22 districts in Jammu and Kashmir for the next 24 hours.

A high danger avalanche warning has been issued to Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kulgam and Kupwara districts in the valley, while medium danger warning was issued to Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Reasi, Doda, Kishtwar, Udhampur and Leh districts. A low danger warning was issued for Kargil district.

On February 2, three persons were reported to have died in the avalanche that occurred near the Gudkhamb point at Aru in Pahalgam area. The incident occurred when a snow-clearance exercise was underway on the Pahalgam-Aru road. The bodies were recovered from the snow after the rescue team cleared the debris.

Similarly, on January 22, two people were killed in an avalanche in Jammu and Kashmir after rain and snowfall lashed various parts of north India, stated officials.

In yet another avalanche disaster on January 3, a soldier was killed and another one sustained injuries after an avalanche hit the Army post along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district.

(With Agency Inputs)