At least one skier of a foreign nationality was killed and several other skiers were trapped by an avalanche that hit Indian Kashmir's popular ski destination of Gulmarg on Thursday, officials said.

Gulmarg has recorded about 5 feet (1.5 metre) of snowfall this week, following which authorities had issued an avalanche warning for the area.

"So far one skier has died and five have been rescued," Manzoor Ahmad, head of the rescue team, told reporters, adding that the nationality of the deceased was yet to be determined. Most of the trapped skiers are foreigners, officials said.

Waseem Raja, CEO of the Gulmarg Development Authority, said a "massive rescue operation" had been launched to save those who were trapped.

The Himalayan region of Kashmir, with its snow-capped mountains, is a popular destination for winter sports but has seen several mishaps caused by avalanches in the past.

Two Polish skiers died and 19 were rescued after an avalanche swept through the same Gulmarg region in February last year. (Reporting by Fayaz Bukhari; Writing by Sakshi Dayal; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)