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Five people died and five were missing under snow after an avalanche in Ladakh’s Khardung La pass on Friday morning. Rescue operations are on at the mountain pass, which is at 17,500 feet and is among the world's highest motorable roads.
Khardung La is located north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys.
Jammu & Kashmir: 10 people trapped under snow after an avalanche occurred in Khardung La, Ladakh. Search operation underway. More details awaited. pic.twitter.com/etWuxJLo1f— ANI (@ANI) January 18, 2019
According to media reports, rescuers from the district administration, police and the State Disaster Relief Force are at the site, which is 40 km from Leh town. Reports quoted eyewitnesses as saying that a Scorpio vehicle was hit by a giant wall of snow.
Divisional administration had warned people not to move around in avalanche prone areas and requested them to store enough edibles and other essentials as both surface and air connectivity is likely to remain disrupted during this period.
As per media reports, the administration has kept at least 23 snow clearance machines ready. “If snowfall continues and there is some substantial accumulation on roads, we will be putting the snow clearance machines into service after midnight so that the arterial roads are clear by Thursday morning,” executive engineer, mechanical engineering department, Abdul Rashid Bhat said.
The Met department had earlier issued an avalanche warning for nine districts of Jammu and Kashmir— Anantnag, Budgam, Baramulla, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil, Kulgam, Kupwara and Leh.