ISLAMABAD - The death toll in the avalanches and rains in areas of Balochistan, AJK, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan rose 100 while the number of injured were over 90 yesterday amid full scale rescue and relief operations in the affected areas.

Relief and rescue teams of Pakistan army are fully engaged with the local administrations of respective areas and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in the rescue and relief operations.

Army helicopters carrying tents, blankets, rations, cooked food and medicine are providing comfort to the stranded population.

Army troops including FWO and civil administration have successfully restored the blocked raods including Karakoram Highway and Jaglot Skardu Road at Pattan, Matta Banda, Shatial, Tatta Pani, Hunza, Sost, Morkhoon, Khunjrab and Dambudas.

In Balochistan, portions of N50 and N25 at Khan Mehtarzai and Lakpass Tunnel have also been cleared. FWO teams have been deployed at bottlenecks astride KKH to ensure smooth and uninterrupted flow of traffic, while relief goods are also being distributed amongst affected families.

Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday also visited Muzaffarabad to express solidarity with the victims of land sliding and avalanche affected areas of Neelum valley. He was briefed at Neelum Stadium by Chief Secretary AJK and Commander Corps Rawalpindi on rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Later PM visited CMH Muzaffarabad to inquire about the wellbeing of injured due to snow slide. President AJK Masood Khan, Prime Minister AJK Raja Farooq Haider, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur and other senior civil and military official also accompanied Prime Minister Imran Khan during the visit.

According to the latest NDMA reports, three more helicopters loaded with relief items had reached Neelum Valley.

The NDMA spokesperson said Prime Minister Imran Khan had issued clear instructions that all possible resources would be provided for the rehabilitation of the victims.

He said rescue and relief activities continued in the rain and snow-hit areas of Balochistan and AJK. He said the authority is providing all necessary assistance to the victims of snow-rain in Balochistan and Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir. He said the affected families are being provided food, blankets and medicines.

The snow avalanches plagued the villages of Surgan, Kel, Lawat, Chaknat and some other places in Neelum District where as many as 67 dead, 53 injured, 198 houses damaged including 22 shops, a mosque and 12 vehicles were reported to be damaged due to the avalanches, it added.

Besides, Pakistan Army’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team comprising five members was dispatched to AJK affected areas for search and rescue operations, the NDMA report said.

Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Balochistan informed a total of 20 people perished including 12 females, 7 children and a male in various districts of the province where 23 people were stated to be injured as 13 males and 10 children were injured in the districts of Quetta, Pishin, Zhob, Kech, Killa Abdullah and Mastung. In district Kech, 499 boundary walls of various houses along with 148 mud houses completely damaged and 341 got partially damaged. A water supply mainly dam also got damaged in district Killa Abdullah.

Furthermore, 22 mud houses were completely damaged in district Kalat with 51 partially damaged whereas livestock losses reported 20 goats and 9 sheep perished due to heavy snowfall in the area.

The Met Office said that mainly cold and dry weather is expected in most parts of the country, while very cold in upper parts and north Balochistan. However, cloudy weather with light rain and snowfall over hills is expected at isolated places in Gilgit Baltistan during the next twelve hours.

On the other hand, Governor Gilgit Baltistan Raja Jalal Hussain Maqpoon and Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman have expressed their deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in rains, snowfall and avalanche affected areas.

In a Muzaffarabad, a high-level meeting of AJK government, chaired by prime minister Raja Farooq Haider on Tuesday decided to shift the affected population immediately on war-footings to the safer places, besides providing best available medical  facilities to the injured.

The AJK civil administration was directed to accelerate rescue operations in affected areas with the cooperation of Pakistan Army, while the Highway Wing was asked to deploy more machinery for road clearance to ensure smooth relief operation.