Punjar Saddal (Udhampur): In less than one minute, Yash Pal's life changed forever as a whole mountain came crashing down devouring this hamlet following torrential rains and buried his family of six.
There is no trace of nine members of Sunku Ram's family too as their house is buried under a big boulder, which the rescuers are finding difficult to remove manually. The landslide on September7 killed at least 41 villagers, including children, women and elderly, in Panchari Hills in Jammu and Kashmir.
Rescuers have so far recovered just 10 bodies. As the operation advanced today, a child's slate with illegible scrawls was peeking from the rubble. Clothes, shoes and severd body parts were retrieved as the personnel continued with the heartbreaking process.
Unlike Yash and Sunku Ram, another villager Panch Kartar Singh was lucky. He escaped along with his family from the massive landslide that has changed the topography of the area where Punjar-Saddal village once thrived.
The stunned survivors say they will never forget the horrifying moments when the tragedy struck.
Kartar, who is still in trauma, said, "In just less than a minute all was finished. The mountain crumbled before my eyes. There was no sign that Punjar-Saddal ever existed.
"I cannot forget that I am still alive. It was all before my eyes. There were heavy rains and we were about to leave. Few stones were rolling intermittently. Suddenly there was this loud sound and the mountain came crumbling down in just less than a minute."
Kartar and his five family members narrowly escaped as big boulders and mud slides struck a few meters from his house.
"There was not a minute left for us to get out. My entire family was buried in this tomb," said an inconsolable Yash.
Like him, Ganesh Singh recalls the last phone call to his brother, who told him that they were in danger due to cracks in their house.