Trail of destruction after cloudburst hits Leh
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Last Updated: Friday, August 06, 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.


First Published: Friday, August 06, 2010, 22:48

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