SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Four members of a family were killed on Wednesday after their house collapsed due to heavy snowfall in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said.
The house collapsed at village Badugam of Gurez in Bandipora district, about 162 km north of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
"Early today at around 3:30 a.m. local time (2200 GMT Tuesday) four members of a family were buried alive after their house collapsed due to heavy snowfall at village Badugam of Gurez here," Masarat Hashim, a senior official posted in Bandipora told Xinhua. "The bodies have been retrieved from the debris of house."
According to officials, the dead include two children.
Initial reports said, the house was hit by an avalanche, however officials said heavy snowfall caused the house to collapse.
Gurez area has received more than 6 feet of snow, officials said.
Plains and upper reaches of Indian-controlled Kashmir are experiencing snowfall and rain since Tuesday.
Reports of house collapses are pouring in from several places.
The fresh snowfall has affected air and road traffic in the region, thereby disrupting normal life. While the accumulation of snow at Jawahar tunnel has led to closure of the 294-km Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only road link connecting Muslim majority areas of the region to winter capital - Jammu and other Indian states, the airport authorities have suspended air traffic due to poor visibility.
"If there will be an improvement in the weather conditions, then only we can resume flight operations," an airport official in Srinagar said.
Authorities have issued avalanches warnings and urged people to avoid venturing near avalanche prone areas. Meteorological officials said rain and snow is likely to continue for the next 24 hours.
Kashmir has a rugged terrain. Landslides and avalanches are often triggered from its mountains during frequent rains and heavy snowfall in the region.