SRINAGAR: AT least five soldiers have gone missing at two places along the Line of Control (LoC) in Gurez and Naugam sectors of north Kashmir after avalanche in upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir since a couple of days.
“Two soldiers slipped down the slope in Naugam sector (Kupwara district) close to the LoC after heavy snowfall this morning. Three other soldiers went missing from a forward post in Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez (Bandipora district),” said Defence spokesman in Srinagar, Colonel Rajesh Kalia.
An army official said the three soldiers had gone out of their post after the snowfall when they were buried away by the snow.
Kalia added that the Army has launched rescue operations at both Naugam sector and Gurez to rescue the soldiers.
The upper reaches of the Valley including Gurez, Kupwara and Baramulla experienced heavy snowfall since Monday, while places including Srinagar experienced light snowfall early on Tuesday. The snowfall has disconnected Kashmir’s surface link with rest of the country. Air traffic has also got hit.
Army Chief General Bipin Rawat cautioned the Army to be constantly aware of the weather patterns to avoid untoward incidents.
In January this year, at least 20 soldiers including four officers were killed in snow avalanches along the LoC in Gurez, Uri and Machil sectors in north Kashmir.
J&K is experiencing widespread snowfall and rain with the meteorological (MeT) office forecasting present weather conditions to continue till Thursday due to a western disturbance over the state.
Air and road traffic affected in Kashmir
The Valley was cut off from the rest of the country on Tuesday as flight operations at the Srinagar airport were suspended and the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and Mughal road were closed for traffic due to snowfall and rain. In Jammu, the Mughal road, connecting Poonch and Rajouri with south Kashmir, was also closed.