Dozens killed in avalanches triggered by heavy snow in Kashmir

Avalanches triggered by heavy snowfall in the Himalayan region of Kashmir have killed 70 people in the past 24 hours, officials say.

Authorities confirmed 55 people had been killed in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, while a further 15 died in neighboring Afghanistan.

In an update on Tuesday afternoon, officials said a further six Indian soldiers and six civilians has been killed in five separate avalanches in the region.

A child injured in the avalanche is carried from a helipad in Muzaffarabad. Credit: AP

On Tuesday, Ahmad Raza Qadri, the minister for the disaster management authority in Kashmir, said a state of emergency had been declared in the affected areas.

Mr Raza Qadri added "rescuers are facing difficulties in reaching the stricken villages" cut off by the severe weather.

Avalanches are common in the disputed region - which is divided between Pakistan and India and claimed by both in its entirety - but heavy snowfall has caused further disruption in the past few days.

The latest deaths raise the death toll from the severe weather in the two countries to 126 since Sunday.

Military helicopters are ferrying injured to hospital. Credit: AP

Military helicopters have been brought in to try to evacuate those stuck in the worst affected areas while authorities attempt to reopen snow-covered highways.

A further 20 people have died in Pakistan's south-western Baluchistan province which has also been hit by heavy snowfall.

On Monday, residents of the Afghan capital, Kabul, abandoned cars and struggled to get to work on snow-bound roads as temperatures dropped to -15°C.