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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan army says rescue operation continues in avalanche-hit area

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 10 -- Pakistan army said Tuesday that despite weather hazards, rescue work continues at Siachen where a massive avalanche has buried 135 soldiers and civilians since Saturday.

None of the buried persons has been recovered yet.

The avalanche struck the “Sixth Northern Light Infantry Regiment” or NLI at Gayari sector near Skardu. Several teams of foreign experts have also arrived in Pakistan to help Pakistani rescuers but they have not yet proceeded to the site due to poor weather.

“A total of 452 persons including 69 civilians are employed on relief efforts,” the army said. The army said that dozers, earth movers, excavator and dumpers are working day and night on the site.

The army statement said that foreign rescue teams, six members German team, three member Switzerland team have arrived in Pakistan and waiting for weather clearance to proceed to Gayari.

Seven members Strategic Plans Division of the country is using life detection kit and thermal imaging camera during the rescue operation, it said.

Five points have been identified on the site where rescue work is in progress and two points are being dug with equipment while three points are being dug manually, the army said.

But a senior military official said that attempts to send extra equipment up to help with the search on Tuesday had been delayed.

The military had arranged a C-130 cargo plane to lift some machinery up to the area, but bad weather did not allow the flight.

Glacier export, Dr Ghulam Rasool said that weather would remain harsh for few more days.

Talking to a private news channel, he said that weather in Siachen region would be normal till April 12 and machinery and human resources could able to airlift in suitable weather conditions.

Dr. Ghulam Rasool said this incident was rare and unusual as snow usually do not melt in April added that avalanche activities started in the end of May and June.

He feared harsh weather condition could affect ongoing rescue operation.

The military camp was engulfed between 5:00 am and 6:00 am on Saturday by a mass of snow, stones, mud and slush more than 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) wide and 25 metres high, according to the military.

**1412
Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 80071320



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