Hundreds still missing; 500 injured in flash floods tragedy
For the third consecutive day, rescue operations were on in full swing on Sunday to search for the missing and dead even as the death toll in the flash floods that hit this mountain town in the small hours of Friday rose to 150. A few hundred people are still missing though many are reported to have returned home. The number of injured is 500.
The Air Force has brought in more relief material along with machinery for the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited for restoring its communication network. The Army engineers have partly restored the road link to Choglamsar, the worst-hit village. The Karu-Leh road has also been cleared.
Joint columns of the Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, General Reserve Engineering Force, Jammu and Kashmir Police, civil administration and the local populace continued with their efforts to struggle through mud to reach the affected areas.
Though rescue efforts are in top gear, people continue to experience agony as there is little information about the dead and missing. Boulders, earthmovers and cranes are being used to push through the muddy terrain.
Informed sources said the death toll so far is 150. Officials maintained that the number of missing had gone down as many people had returned home.
“We are compiling the figures but it will take time,” an official said.
Director-General of Police Kuldip Khoda said no foreign tourist had died, but the sources said the bodies of two French nationals, identified as Augariwelus and Hellot, were retrieved from under the debris.