An avalanche in a Himalayan region of northern India killed at least five villagers Wednesday when their houses were buried under heavy snow, officials said.
The avalanche trapped eight people in the remote Kafnu village in the state of Himachal Pradesh but three of them were later rescued, they said.
"The victims were in two houses. The other six houses in the village had been vacated earlier," said one of the officials, speaking anonymously as he was not authorised to talk to the press.
A rescue operation was launched despite the heavy snowfall in the tribal region bordering Tibet, with forecasters warning of the possibility of more avalanches.
The region has been experiencing very heavy snowfall for the past three days and has been virtually cut off from the rest of the state because of disruption in electricity and communication cables.
Popular tourist spots like Kalpa, the region's main town, have been under more than six feet (1.82m) of snow.
Last month, five people were killed in an avalanche in the same region.