Thirty-five satellite phones were sent here in addition to the Airtel service, the only private cellular service provider here

As relief operations gathered momentum in Leh, which witnessed death and widespread destruction owing to flash floods in the early hours of Friday, the police have set up relief camps. Inspector General of Armed Police, Jammu and Kashmir, Dilbagh Singh has been sent to the mountain town to oversee the relief operations. Four policemen were killed in the operations.

As six Air Force planes landed with heavy material here, vital communication equipment was also transported for the BSNL to restore the communications, which is hampering the rescue work.

“Additional BSNL equipment was airlifted by two AN-32 from Chandigarh. One heavy duty bulldozer was airlifted from Chandigarh to Leh by an IL-76 to clear the debris” Army spokesman Col. J S Brar said.

Thirty-five satellite phones were sent here in addition to the Airtel service, the only private cellular service provider here. Medical items provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, relief material and 5,000 blankets were also airlifted from Delhi. Bodies of 10 victims of the mudslides were taken by an aircraft to Udhampur. The spokesman said 29 Columns of Army personnel continued to be deployed for rescue and relief operations.

Though doctors and medicines were airlifted from Delhi, the Army hospital is facing difficulty in coping up with the situation. The Civil Hospital has been damaged and 500 injured are being treated at Army hospital. Many are being referred to make-shift civil hospital but there are no operation theatres. “We do not have theatres or labour rooms. But we still get patients,” a doctor said.

The Army is also searching for missing soldiers in the Nubra Valley. The search has been hampered by the fact that the slush is almost 28 feet high. The sources said 33 soldiers were washed away in flash floods in the Shyok river of Ladakh region near Siachen on Friday.

The Army has sought the help of the Pakistani authorities to trace the personnel on duty on the Line of Control, as they fear that they might have been swept away towards the other side of LoC.

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