Flash floods in Himachal, J&K, and Ladakh killed at least 17 people, damaged several houses and a mini hydro-power plant while many north Indian states received widespread rainfall on Wednesday. A series of cloudbursts struck different parts of J&K, and Ladakh killing 8 people while 17 went missing. Dacchan and Boujwa areas in Kishtwar, the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, Bandipora in north Kashmir and Kargil in Ladakh were hit by cloudbursts that also damaged dozens of residential houses, many bridges and a mini-hydropower project.
Seven bodies were recovered from the worst-hit Dacchin area of Kishtwar and 17 people were rescued in a joint operation by the police, Army and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). In Rajouri district, a person drowned in the swollen Saktoi nallah. Police officials said the cloudburst in Kishtwar happened around 4.30 am triggering flash floods in the remote village located on the banks of a stream.
PM Modi said the Centre is closely monitoring the situation in Kishtwar and all possible assistance is being provided to the affected areas as he wished for everyone’s safety and well-being. Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and DGP Dilbagh Singh and took stock of the situation. Director General of Police-cum-Commandant General Home Guard, Civil Defence and SDRF, V K Singh, said 2 women are among the 7 killed in the cloudburst. Floods have also been reported from Machail, Paddar and Bunjwah in the district.
The district development commissioner of Kishtwar said 2 cloudbursts struck the remote Lambard area overnight but there was no report of any loss of life. Two columns of the Army were mobilised to help the civil administration in the rescue operation. A cloudburst also occurred near the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas on Wednesday afternoon leading to shooting stones that damaged some tents, but there was no loss of life. A similar calamity caused flash floods at Aloosa village in Bandipora district of north Kashmir, but there was no report of any casualty. Two bridges were damaged in Udhampur and Rajouri as incessant rains continued to lash wide parts of J&K.
In Ladakh, 2 cloudbursts hit different areas of Kargil damaging a mini hydro-power project, nearly a dozen residential houses and standing crops. However, no loss of life was reported in the cloudbursts, which struck Sangra and Khangral on Tuesday evening. In Himachal, at least 9 people were killed and 7 reported missing in flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall. Seven people died in Lahaul-Spiti flash floods triggered by a cloudburst over Tozing Nullah in Udaipur while 2 men died in Chamba. In Kullu, 4 people, including a hydro project official and a Delhi tourist, are missing and feared dead. In Lahaul-Spiti's Udaipur, 12 labourers were washed in flash floods.
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