Source Pravda.Ru

Landslides bury three homes in Pakistan, killing 31

Heavy rains triggered landslides that buried three homes in Pakistan's portion of Kashmir, leaving 31 people dead, officials said Wednesday.

At least 21 people died when a landslide hit two homes Tuesday in Doba Sayedan, a remote village in the mountainous Himalayan territory, said Maj. Farooq Nasir, an army spokesman in the regional capital, Muzaffarabad.

Ten members of one family died when their home collapsed under a landslide in Bagh, a town farther south, police officer Mohammed Liaqat said.

The officials said villagers pulled 15 injured people from the rubble in Doba Sayedan and were digging for seven others feared trapped under debris.

The villages are in a vast swath of mountains devastated by a 2005 earthquake that killed more than 80,000 people and displaced more than 3 million others. Most people in the area still live in temporary shelters.

The magnitude 7.6 quake destabilized many of the steep valley sides, making them more vulnerable to landslides in weather like the torrential rains that fell over northern Pakistan on Monday and continued Wednesday, the AP said.

Liaqat said a police rescue team left Tuesday for Doba Sayedan, but was held up by other landslides blocking the road.

Nazir said that army troops were heading to the area on foot, and that the military would send a helicopter to evacuate the injured once the weather improved.

Doba Sayedan is located close to the Line of Control, the cease-fire line that divides Kashmir into its Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts.

The South Asian rivals have fought two wars over the Himalayan region since their independence from British rule in 1947, though relations have improved under a peace process that began in 2004.