10 killed in Pakistan avalanches

The first snowfall of the winter season hit several parts of Pakistan's Balochistan province on January 14, 2017.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - At least 10 people were killed and three more trapped beneath thick snow after two avalanches crashed into a village and a border post in northern Pakistan on Sunday, officials said.

Disaster struck the village of Shershal in Chitral district, with four women and four children among the dead.

The avalanche hit eight homes at around 3:00 am, said Sheema Ayub Khan, a spokeswoman for the Disaster Management Authority in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

She said three people had been rescued from the snow while at least three more were still trapped.

The region has been hit by heavy snowfall that is four feet (1.2 metres) deep in some places.

Shahab Hameed, a senior administration official in the area, confirmed the death toll, adding that most of the area's roads had been blocked.

"We are trying to reopen the roads and help people," he said.

Both officials reported that another snow avalanche hit a Pakistani military post at the Afghanistan border near Chitral overnight killing a soldier and injured six others.

An army statement confirmed the toll and said forces were working to rescue people.

Chitral district mayor, Maghfriat Shah, said the city's airport was shut because of the weather.

Another local official, Muhammad Ilyas, told AFP that people in the affected area were facing medicine and food shortages because of road closures and flight cancellations.

The region's electricity supply was also disrupted after the main transmission line was damaged.

Severe weather hits Pakistan every year, with avalanches in winter and flash floods in summer disrupting lives.

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