Image: Avalanche killed dozens in Paksitan
Str  /  EPA
People try to remove snow Thursday from the ground of a heavy avalanche at Ziarat village as they search for bodies.
updated 2/18/2010 4:18:23 PM ET 2010-02-18T21:18:23

An avalanche crashed down on a village in northwestern Pakistan, burying houses and leaving more than 50 people dead or missing, officials said Thursday.

Rescuer teams digging into the snow and rubble almost a full day after Wednesday night's avalanche had recovered 38 bodies and had little hope that 14 people still missing would be found alive, local government Aminul Haq told Dunya television.

The avalanche came down on at least four houses in Dasu, a remote village in the mountainous Kohistan district in the northwest, which has been buffeted by heavy snow storms in recent days, said police official Naqeebullah Khan.

Local mayor Saifur Rehman said the houses destroyed or buried were the homes of 52 people.

During winter, snow regularly triggers avalanches in various mountainous parts of Pakistan. Some 24 people died in May 2009 when an avalanche hit a village in the Pakistani-controlled part of the Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

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