Trail of destruction after cloudburst hits Leh

Last Updated: Friday, August 6, 2010 - 22:48

Leh: Flooded hospital, flattened bus
stands, washed away houses and floating cars amidst echo of
wailing people are all that is left after flash floods struck
here last night.

With the highway badly damaged and the runway of the
Leh airport badly damaged due to the flash floods, the city is
cut off from rest of the country.

While many villages like Sabu, Phyang, Nimoo and
Choglamsar were affected, the city bore the maximum brunt of
the calamity.

Water had gushed into the district hospital taking
both staff and patients by surprise and flattened the BSNL
office cutting off communication links.

Some cars were seen floating in the water while others
were found in a heap. The CRPF camp was also affected by the
flash flood which has claimed 80 lives so far.

People were seen wailing after losing their near and
dear ones in the disaster.

Many were also reported missing. Rescue operations are
being undertaken by local administration and the Army, while
the heavy slush that flowed down in the night because of
cloudburst was to be checked first to carry out relief works.

Officials said the effort is to clear the roads and
make the airport functional so that rescue operations could be
fastened.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, while expressing grief
over the tragedy, has directed civil and police administration
to undertake relief and rescue work on a war footing.

Leh is located at a height of 11,500 feet above sea
level, 424 kilometres from Srinagar. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) troops have
converted their 121 bed-barrack into a temporary camp and are
using its auditorium as a disaster ward for flood victims.

"ITBP men have rescued about 101 victims, including 15
dead, from the debris," an ITBP officer said.
More than 200 injured were provided medical aid, while
over 260 homeless have been accommodated in ITBP barracks, he
added.

Relief and rescue teams of the force are presently not
using cranes and other heavy machinery to dig out bodies or
any survivors from the debris, the officer said.

The flow of mud, debris and slush has washed away an
area of about 500 meters long and 300 meters wide at
Choglumsar village, he added.

-PTI



First Published: Friday, August 6, 2010 - 22:48

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