Pakistani man survives after being buried by avalanche for 24 hours - GulfToday

Pakistani man survives after being buried by avalanche for 24 hours


Rescuers shift a body of an avalanche victim near the Shounter Pass in Gilgit-Baltistan region on Sunday. AFP

Gulf Today Report

A 70-year-old man was rescued alive after being buried under the snow for over 24 hours in Astore district of Gilgit-Baltistan, local media reported on Monday.

Eleven people, including four women and a child, were buried when an avalanche hit a temporary settlement of nomads near Shunter Pass in Astore on Saturday.

The bodies of the victims have been recovered, the agency said in a statement, adding that the injured, including a child, have been taken to a local hospital where they are said to be in a critical condition.

The 70-year-old Muhammad Hussain was the last man to be rescued from under the snow. The nomads belonged to Chakwal district of Punjab. The dead have been sent to their native areas for burial.

Harsh weather conditions hampered the rescue operation and made access to the remote scene difficult.

In summer, the nomads move goat herds from the plains of Punjab to the high grasslands in the Kashmir valley, and then onwards to the adjoining Gilgit-Baltistan through the Shounter Pass.

"Such incidents are rising in Pakistan due to the impact of climate change," Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said in a statement.

Pakistan, which in recent years has faced record monsoon rains and glacier melt in northern mountains, is among the top 10 countries at risk of natural disasters due to the climate change.

Shahbaz called on the international community to fulfil its responsibility to save developing countries facing economic challenges from adverse effects of climate change.

In October 2020, an Austrian climber was killed while another climber and their local guide were seriously injured when they were hit by an avalanche while attempting to climb an unexplored and unclimbed peak in the Shimshal Valley of Hunza.

In January of that year, 15 people, including five soldiers, were martyred in several avalanches in the two regions.

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