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Indian Kashmir hit by deadly wind storm, avalanche

SRINAGAR, India (AP) – An avalanche triggered by recent rains killed at least one man in the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, while strong winds ripped trees from their roots and damaged thousands of homes, officials said Tuesday.

State disaster management official Amir Ali said rescuers were searching for two other men missing since the avalanche struck Monday night near the remote mountain town of Gurez. It is on India’s side of the militarized cease-fire line that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir thanks to heavy snowfall and frequent rain.

Meanwhile, low atmospheric pressure over the region Monday night caused unusually strong winds, gusting up to 27 miles (44 kilometers) per hour through the main city of Srinagar.

One man died after a tree branch ripped away by the wind fell onto him, and at least 17 others were injured in weather-related incidents as the wind shattered windows, pulled rooftops off homes and uprooted trees.

Ali said nearly 7,000 homes and 2,000 other buildings were damaged in Srinagar and elsewhere.

Schools were closed Tuesday as debris was being cleared, and downed power lines disrupted electricity supplies.

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