Azad Kashmir: “I thought I would die,” says Samina Bibi, a 12-year-old girl who was buried under snow for 18 hours and rescued alive yesterday in Pakistan.
The young girl is hospitalized in Muzaffarabad hospital in Pakistani Azad Kashmir, with dozens of other injured people. She is one of the survivors of the sudden avalanches that have hit the Neelum Valley region in the previous two days.
As per the authorities, at least another 100 people died buried in the snow or swept away while they were at home.
For Shahnaz Bibi, Samina’s mother, defines the fact that her daughter is alive as “a miracle”.
The woman lost another daughter and son because of the avalanche that hit their home.
“We were bunched around the hearth — she says; and it came in the blink of an eye. We didn’t even notice.”
Then she adds that she did not hear the roar that usually precedes the avalanche and that “by now we had lost hope of seeing Samina again”.
The girl survived even with the cold. She has a broken leg and a split lip.
She remembers “shouting for help whereas I was trapped.”
According to the reports National Disaster Management Authority, more bad weather is anticipated tomorrow which could cause further damage.
The valley is presently isolated due to the detachment of snow and boulders from the mountains. The special Rescue operations take place only via helicopters.
As per Authorities’ report that at least 84 homes and 17 businesses are completely destroyed and 94 other homes and a mosque partially smashed.
Other areas of the country have been hit by violent rains and cold. The accidents caused by rainfall forced the closing of the main roads and highways not only in Pakistani Kashmir; but in the provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the same situation.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has asked the proficient authorities to provide “all humanitarian assistance possible instantly. The Spartan snowstorms and avalanches have caused misery and deaths”.
Qamar Javed Bajwa, the head of the Pakistani army, uttered his condolences to the families of the victims and ordered the military to continue supporting the civil administration in the rescue and assistance operations.