Get the Latest News Updates

A 70-year-old guy was found 28 hours after an avalanche hit the Astore valley in Gilgit-Baltistan.

A 70-year-old man was found living under snow in the Astore district of Gilgit-Baltistan on Sunday, almost 28 hours after an avalanche hit the valley.

On Saturday morning, an avalanche killed eight people. Four of them were women, and one was a child. Officials said that the people who died were farmers who were traveling from Azad Kashmir to Astore and had set up camp in the area with their animals. They all came from different parts of Punjab.

Wazir Asad Ali, the media officer for Astore Rescue 1122, told on Sunday that the final three people had been saved and were being taken to the DHQ Hospital Astore.

He said that Muhammad Hussain, who was 70 years old, was the last person to be saved, almost 28 hours after the storm hit.

“The three people who were saved are all getting care and are now stable,” Ali said. The source also said that the rescue operation was over and that the bodies were being sent to Punjab.

Ali also said that the Pakistan Army and the police had helped the local government and rescue workers with the search and rescue operation.

Nomads move their animals from Azad Kashmir to Punjab and back again every year. They go to Punjab to get away from the hard winters in the north. When the weather gets better in the mountains, they go back.

A local of Astore named Aqeel Hussain told Dawn that Shunter Pass is right next to the area of Azad Kashmir and that nomads from Punjab stay here for months to graze their animals before moving on.

Natural tragedies, like avalanches, can happen in GB and Azad Kashmir. Avalanches are when large amounts of snow, ice, and rocks come crashing down from mountains.

In January of this year, an avalanche hit the town of Khayot in the upper Naltar Valley, burying two boys. For weeks, the roads between the GB area and other parts of the country were cut off because of the bad weather.

In October 2020, an avalanche hit a group of climbers who were trying to climb a peak that had never been climbed before in the Shimshal Valley of Hunza. One Austrian climber died, and another climber and their local guide were badly hurt. In January of that year, several avalanches in the two areas killed 15 people, including five soldiers.