SHIGAR : At least 14 families of Arandu village in Shigar district, Gilgit Baltistan have moved down to another village as glacier in the area has started gliding towards the population.

A 10-member rescue team of volunteers and police has left for Arandu village that is located in Shigar, said Baltistan Division Commissioner Asim Ayub. It will take around two to three days for the team to reach the village as they will walk to the area. The commissioner said many communication routes are blocked due to heavy snowfall.

The army has been requested to provide helicopters for rescue work. Moreover, the administrations of all the four districts of Baltistan Division  have been put on high alert.

Reports say that Skardu has been cut off from rest of Gilgit-Baltistan and it is feared that there would be shortage of food and other essential commodities if the road links were not opened. 

In a TV interview, a member of G-B Legislative Assembly, Imran Nadeem, said it has been reported that many animals and houses have come under the glacier.

However, it has not been ascertained whether the animals and houses were buried under the glacier or avalanche as record-breaking snowfall this month triggered avalanche in a neighbourhood of Arandu.

At least 40 cattle were killed while a house completely destroyed in avalanche in Shigar area, today.

According to details, the intermittent snowfall in Skardu has resulted in avalanche in Arandu village that demolished several trees and infrastructure in the area.

However, the locals who narrowly escaped the mishap have been shifted to safe haven.

On the other hand, tourists are stranded in the hilly areas due to blockage of roads amid dearth of food items and medicines.

Meanwhile, continuous snowfall and severe weather conditions have disrupted various flights. 

Earlier on February 6, at least ten people, including a Frontier Constabulary (FC) sepoy, were killed in an avalanche in northern Pakistan’s Chitral district, with several residents trapped in collapsed houses.

The avalanche struck the village of Sher Shal in Garam Chashma Tehsil, completely destroying more than twenty houses.