Girl buried in avalanche of Pakistan found alive after 18 hours under snow

Aware

January 16, 2020 10:27:12

A 12-year-old girl was found alive after being buried for 18 hours when an avalanche in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir enveloped the family’s house.

Key points:

  • Samina Bibi said she thought she was going to die
  • Samina’s mother, Shahnaz Bibi, lost a son and another daughter in the avalanche.
  • Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority said the death toll had risen to 100

Samina Bibi remembered screaming and screaming for help while she was trapped in a room under the snow.

“I thought she would die there,” she told Reuters from a hospital bed in Muzaffarabad, where she and dozens of other injured people were receiving treatment after being flown from the avalanche area.

Samina was one of the lucky ones.

The death toll from Monday’s avalanches in the Neelum Valley in Pakistan, in the Himalayan region disputed by Pakistan and India, rose to 74, according to Pakistani officials, while rescuers continued to recover bodies.

Search teams aided by Pakistani troops removed 21 more bodies from homes destroyed by avalanches this week in the disputed Kashmir region, bringing the total death toll due to severe weather conditions to 160 for Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to The authorities.

Rescuers ran against time to reach dozens of people believed to be still trapped inside their homes, buried under avalanches caused by heavy snowfall in Kashmir administered by Pakistan.

‘A miracle’

For Samina’s mother, Shahnaz Bibi, who lost a son and another daughter, the rescue was nothing short of a miracle.

After being removed from the snow before, Ms. Bibi said that she and her brother, Irshad Ahmad, had lost hope of finding Samina alive.

Samina said she couldn’t sleep while waiting to be rescued. His leg was fractured and blood flowed from his mouth.

For the family, the disaster happened very fast.

“We didn’t hear a noise,” Bibi said, remembering the moments before the avalanche buried the three-story house where she and her family took refuge with others in the town.

Samina and her family were huddled around a bonfire when the avalanche struck.

“It happened in the blink of an eye,” Bibi said.

The National Disaster Management Authority of Pakistan said the total number of deaths in snowy areas in recent days increased to 100.

Strongest snowfall in the region is expected since Friday.

Another 10 people were killed in the Indian part of the Kashmir valley.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since its independence in 1947.

In 2012, an avalanche enveloped the headquarters of the Pakistani army near the Indian border, killing at least 124 soldiers and 11 civilians.

Reuters

Topics:

avalanche,

disasters and accidents,

Pakistan,

Jammu and Kashmir,

India

.

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