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Gilgit-Baltistan area avalanche results in ten fatalities

According to officials, an avalanche that struck the Gilgit-Baltistan area of Pakistan on Saturday claimed the lives of at least 10 members of a nomadic tribe and wounded 25 others.
According to the authorities, the disaster in the mountainous region's Shunter Top area claimed the lives of 10 persons, three of them were women.
Local assistance was used to start the rescue effort, and afterwards troops from the Pakistan Army assisted as well, according to the police.
Rescue workers told Dawn News that up to 25 members of the Gujjar family were heading from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to Astore with their livestock when they were buried by the avalanche.
Twelve of the wounded were sent to District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Astore, where they were listed in serious condition.
Earlier, Tufail Mir, the deputy inspector general of police for the Diamer-Astore Division, said that the remoteness and treacherous terrain of the affected region made it impossible for rescue workers to access there.
Force Command Northern Areas, a military unit of the Pakistani Army, offered helicopter assistance, relief supplies, and paramedic personnel to help with the rescue mission, however they were unable to be flown “to the site due to bad weather conditions”.
According to the source, the district government is carefully watching the rescue effort while an emergency has been declared at DHQ Hospital Astore and Combined Military Hospital Skardu.
The accident was verified by Chief Secretary Mohiuddin Wani, who also reported that rescue crews were on the scene.
Khalid Khurshid Khan, the chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan, expressed his sincere grief over the deaths and gave the go-ahead for rescue efforts to start.
He requested an urgent investigation into the occurrence from the secretary of the interior, the GBDMA's general manager, and other authorities.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his profound sadness over the loss of precious lives in the avalanche and said that Pakistan was seeing an increase in these types of catastrophes as a result of climate change.
“The entire world has to live up to its obligation to safeguard developing nations like Pakistan from these negative effects,” he added.
The area is home to five of the 14 global summits that rise beyond 8,000 metres. Gilgit-Baltistan also contains approximately 7,000 glaciers and often experiences landslides, avalanches, and glacial lake eruptions.
A devastating avalanche struck the camp of the Pakistani Army in the Gayari region, around 300 miles northeast of Skardu district, in 2012, killing at least 129 troops and 11 civilians.

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