ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – At least 57 people were killed and others were missing after avalanches in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir over the last 24 hours, senior government officials said on Tuesday.
In neighboring India, at least 10 people were killed after several avalanches hit the northern-part of Indian-administered Kashmir.
Two Pakistani officials said many villagers were still stranded in the avalanches in the Neelum valley area following heavy rains that also triggered landslides.
Many people were reported missing and feared dead as rescue efforts got under way, one of the officials said.
A senior Indian police official said five soldiers were among the 10 killed near the border between India and Pakistan.
The area is one of the world’s most militarily tense frontiers, where the neighboring armies have confronted each other over disputed territory for decades.
Kashmir has been divided between Indian and Pakistan since their independence in 1947 and for decades tension on the border has left tens of thousands dead.
In 2012, an avalanche engulfed a Pakistani army battalion headquarters near the Indian border killing at least 124 soldiers and 11 civilians.
Reporting by Abu Arqam Naqash in Muzzafarabad, Gibran Peshimam in Islamabad, Fayaz Bukhari in Srinagar, Writing by Rupam Jain; editing by John Stonestreet, William Maclean