Other States

3 days on, 19 missing in Kishtwar cloudburst remain untraced: Relief organisations

Rescue workers searching for survivors at Hanzor in Kishtwar district.  

Nineteen locals remain untraced for the third consecutive day on Saturday under the mounds of rubble caused by the cloudburst in remote Honzar village of the Chenab Valley’s Kishtwar area, according to the relief organisations.

“We reached the cloudburst-hit Honzar on Thursday morning. Eight houses were completely buried in and 19 locals are still missing,” Syed Imran, a volunteer with the Ababeel, an NGO arranging relief material for the survivors, told The Hindu.

According to the volunteers of several relief organisation, the rescue operations launched by the administration with the help of the Army and the State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) were not able to recover any person alive or dead. The cloudburst hit the village on the intervening night of July 28-29 and left seven people dead and 17 injured.

“The topography and inaccessibility of the area is also making it hard to carry relief and other material to the village. It’s five to six km trek on foot, which takes four to five hours to reach the village. At many places, the access road is close to the stream that swelled due to the cloudburst,” Mr. Imran said.

Blankets, food packets

The Ababeel with the help of the Syed-u-Sadat Foundation, the Kashmir Welfare Trust and the Athrout have arranged blankets, food packets, tin sheets, wooden boards, solar lights, clothing and Kangri for the survivors. “We wish the government could help the NGOs and volunteers to ferry the relief material to the location by chopper. Otherwise taking the relief material on horses will take time,” he said.

BJP president Ravinder Raina also flagged off a mini-truck loaded with essential commodities, including food items and medicine. “The relief material is a humanitarian aid for the affected population,” Mr. Raina said.

The J&K police have set up a community kitchen and pitched tents as a temporary shelter. Additional DGP Mukesh Singh is stationed in Kishtwar to oversee the rescue operation.

The administration has not issued any update on the fate of the 19 missing persons on Saturday.

Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar, Ashok Sharma chaired a meeting of the District Disaster Management Committee, civil and police administration. A spokesman said directions have been passed to speed up relief and rehabilitation.

“All the district officers concerned will expedite the assessment process of damages to agriculture crops, government and private structures, besides the livestock and lives. The report should be filed within 15 days,” the spokesman said.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 11:09:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/3-days-on-19-missing-in-kishtwar-cloudburst-remain-untraced-relief-organisations/article35657759.ece

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