Girl Survives 18 hours Buried in Snow After Avalanches Kill at Least 77 in Pakistan
“I thought I would die there,” said the 12-year-old girl, who lost two siblings and several other family members
A series of avalanches have reportedly killed at least 77 people and injured nearly 100 more in Pakistan, trapping people in their homes and preventing them from receiving aid.
The severe winter weather, which was triggered by heavy snowfall, occurred this weekend in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, according to the Associated Press.
Seventy-seven people have so far been killed, and 94 have been injured, CNN reported.
More than 100 homes were destroyed or damaged in the avalanches, and the severe snow has cut victims off from being able to receive aid, the BBC reported.
Samina Bibi, 12, was at home in Kashmir and huddled around a fire with her family when an avalanche hit without warning, Reuters reported.
She was buried beneath the snow for 18 hours before she was rescued and taken to the hospital, though she lost several family members in the incident, including two siblings.
Her mother Shahnaz Bibi said the family didn’t even hear so much as a rumble before the avalanche hit, and that it “happened in the blink of an eye.”
CNN reported that many villagers used shovels in search and rescue attempts to try and find possible victims who’d been buried beneath the snow.
Helicopters have also been used in order to airdrop food and supplies, as many roads remain blocked by snow.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan flew to Kashmir to visit the affected areas, and stopped by a military hospital in Muzaffarabad, the region’s capital, according to the AP.
He tweeted that the snowfalls and landslides in the region have “caused misery & deaths,” and called on a series of agencies for help.
“I have asked the NDMA, the military & all our federal ministers to immediately provide all humanitarian assistance on an emergency footing to the affected people in AJK,” he wrote.