Leh calamity toll climbs to 150

Cloudburst aftermath: Operations on to trace missing hundreds

Leh calamity toll climbs to 150

Authorities said the toll might go up further as over 200 people are still missing after cloudbursts triggered flash floods and landslides in the region. Over 400 people were injured  in the calamity.

Among those missing are 31 jawans of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police whose camp was washed away. The search for the dead and injured has now spread to the remote areas of Leh.

Leh was cut off from the rest of the country after several roads and bridges were washed away. Even the BSNL headquarters was damaged smashing its operations.
Several villages along the Chang La pass have been completely washed away. Twenty-eight soldiers died after the Indian Army post on the border, Tyakshi, was hit by flash floods.

A defence spokesman said the armed forces continued rescue and relief operations in this high altitude area on Sunday.

“In a bid to restore vital communication links, which were severed due to mudslide triggered by the cloudburst, one IL-76 aircraft of the IAF transported BSNL equipment from New Delhi to Leh. Additional BSNL equipment were also airlifted by two AN-32 aircraft from Chandigarh. “One heavy-duty bulldozer was airlifted from Chandigarh to Leh by an IL-76 aircraft to clear the debris,” he said.

Relief measures

The spokesman said taking into account the requirements projected by the  state government, medical items provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, relief materials and 5,000 blankets were airlifted from Delhi.

“Two tonnes of relief materials were also taken by an AN-32 aircraft from Udhampur. Bodies of 10 victims of the mudslide were brought to Udhampur by two AN-32 aircraft.  One Cheetah helicopter placed at Leh was utilised for casualty evacuation of a Spanish citizen from Egu to Leh on Sunday,” he said.

Twenty-nine columns of Army personnel continue to be deployed for rescue and relief operations in the area.

The search for the missing soldiers in Nubra Valley is still on. This has been hampered by the fact that the mud slush is almost 28 feet high.

The Army distributed over 5,000 blankets, 3,000 tarpaulines and 1,000 mattresses to the affected people.

 Meanwhile, a list of 76 foreign tourists stranded at Pang and seven foreign tourists at Darchiks is being forwarded to  the authorities concerned. At least 90 tourists are believed to be stranded at Lamayaru.

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