Cloudburst triggers flash floods in Ladakh; no loss of life reported

As a result of the flash floods, a programme of the Dalai Lama in Leh was postponed, officials said.
Last Updated : 22 July 2023, 15:20 IST

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A cloudburst triggered flash floods in the Union Territory of Ladakh, causing debris to flow into the main market area and throwing life out of gear, but there are no reports of any loss of life, officials said on Saturday.

The cloudburst hit the Gangles area of the Union territory late Friday night and left several parts of Leh town inundated, they said, adding the debris entered many buildings in the low-lying areas, causing some damage to them.

A police spokesperson said rescue and rehabilitation work was underway in Leh town, especially in Khakshal, Sanker, Skampari, Chhubi, Zangsti and the main market Gonpa Soma areas.

As a result of the flash floods, a programme of the Dalai Lama in Leh was postponed, the officials said.

They said some shops were damaged in the Gangles area and there was a lot of debris in the Chokhang Vihara area.

Many tourists, including foreigners, lent a helping hand and were seen cleaning the main market area following the flash flood.

President of the Ladakh Buddhist Association Thupstan Chewwang said soon after the flash floods struck, Army personnel arrived voluntarily and helped minimise the damage. "I want to thank the Army," he added.

"Since the morning, hundreds of Buddhists, Muslims, and foreigners have rendered their services, which also indicates religious harmony and unity in Ladakh. All of these people have come voluntarily to help in the restoration work," Chewwang said.

He said Chogam Vihara is a low-lying area and so water and debris entered buildings like their meeting hall, causing damage to furniture etc.

"There is more than six inches of mud. Though there is not much loss economically, this is a lesson for us for the future. The UT administration will have to think over it and rectify the drainage system, which is in shambles," he said.

Ladakh Police, meanwhile, requested the general public, civil societies and volunteers of various organisations to aid the police and civil administration in rescue efforts so that normal life and traffic regulations are resumed at the earliest.

Published 22 July 2023, 15:20 IST

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