Seven dead, 17 injured as cloudburst hits Dacchan Kishtwar

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STATE TIMES NEWS

Jammu: A cloudburst hit a remote village in Kishtwar district early Wednesday, leaving seven people dead and 17 others injured, officials said.
Six houses and a ration depot situated on the banks of a stream besides a bridge were damaged in the cloudburst which triggered flash floods in the area around 4:30 am.

  • Govt closely monitoring situation in Kishtwar, Kargil: Modi
  • Deeply saddened by death of many people due to cloudburst in J&K: Prez
  • Amit Shah speaks to LG to take stock of situation

A search and rescue operation by police, Army and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) is underway to locate over 14 people who are still missing from the scene of the cloudburst at village Honzar in Dacchan tehsil, the officials said.
“Seven bodies were recovered from the cloudburst-hit village, while 17 others were rescued in an injured condition so far, a police official told PTI.
The deceased has been identified as Sara Begum, wife of Ghulam Mohd, resident of Honzar Dachhan; Rakila Begum, wife of Zakir Ahmed (Nomad); Ghulam Nabi, son of Ghulam Rasool, resident of Honzar Dachhan; Abdul Majid, son of Nazir Ahmed, resident of Honzar Dachhan; Zaytoon Begum, wife of Haji Lal Din (Nomad); Touseef Iqbal, son of Mohd Iqbal, resident of Honzar Dachhan and Ghulam Mohi-Ud-Din, son of Nasarullah, resident of Honzar Dachhan.

Cloudburst in higher reaches of Shri Amarnath Shrine: No loss of human lives or property

Joint team of Shrine Board, police & army on the spot; situation under control: LG

SRINAGAR: Due to cloudburst in higher reaches, there were gusts of water near the Holy Cave area of Shri Amarnathji Shrine and the nallah adjoining the Holy Cave started flowing heavily.
The joint team of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, Police and Army acting swiftly, evacuated all the staff present close to the Nallah. No loss of human lives or property is reported.
As per the latest report, the Holy Cave shrine is safe. Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke to Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha who briefed him about the present situation and efforts made by the joint team of officials, Police and Army.
“The situation is under control and the flow of water in the nallah is normal. A team of SDRF is camping at Baltal and on stand-by to meet future challenges. An NDRF team is also on stand-by in Srinagar to tackle natural calamities due to incessant rain in the region. The SASB and the administration are closely monitoring the situation,” Lt Governor said.

While the injured are Akhtar Hussain, son of Ab Rahman; Bilal Hussain, son of Habibullah; Nissar Ahmed, son of Habibullah; Asar Ahmed, son of Ab. Wahid; Anzar-ul-Islam, son of Ab. Rehman; Mursa Begum, wife of Gh. Ahmed; Nasema Begum, wife of Mohd Jabbar; Saddam Husain, son of Mohd Jabbar; Ummar Hussain, son of Mohd Jabar; Rehana Banoo, daughter of Mohd Shafi; Tanveer Hussain, son of Mohd Shafi; Shama Begum, wife of Mohd Iqbab; Aziz Ahmed, son of Ab Samad; Rustom Chopan, son of Ghulam Chopan; Mohd Imran, son of Abdul Rehman; Sharifa Begum, wife of Abdul Whid and Wasim Akram, son of Bashir Ahmed.
He said efforts are on to locate 14 missing people.
Condition of five of the rescued persons was reported to be critical, the official said.
Earlier, District Development Commissioner, Kishtwar, Ashok Kumar Sharma said a massive rescue operation is underway as a number of persons are still missing.
Director General of Police-cum-Commandant General Home Guard, Civil Defence and SDRF, V K Singh, said two women are among the seven people killed in the cloudburst.

LG announces ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to kins of deceased

JAMMU: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each for the Next of Kin of those who lost their lives in the tragic cloudburst in Kishtwar. The grievously injured would be given Rs 50,000 each and Rs 12,700 under SDRF shall also be disbursed.
Relief under SDRF for loss of houses, utensils, clothing, household goods, cattle, cattle shed, loss of agricultural land etc. shall also be provided by the Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar.
“The J&K government will do everything possible to support and protect the affected families. In such trying times, it is our duty to care for those who have been unfortunately affected by these natural calamities,” the Lt Governor said. Immediately after the information was received at 6:30 AM about a cloudburst at the village Hunzar under the jurisdiction of Police station Dachhan, Kishtwar, rescue teams from SDRF Kishtwar and Doda were rushed towards the incident site. Joint rescue operation at the site is being conducted by local police, SDRF and Army. During the search operation, 7 dead bodies were recovered and 17 injured persons have been rescued.
The Lieutenant Governor also spoke to Home Minister Amit Shah and briefed him about the rescue and relief operation being carried out by the joint teams.

One of our SDRF teams from Kishtwar reached the affected village and two more teams are on their way from Doda and Udhampur districts. Two more SDRF teams are waiting for the weather to improve to get airlifted from Jammu and Srinagar to the scene and join the rescue mission, Singh said, adding a NDRF team from Ludhiana in Punjab is also on the way to Kishtwar.
Inclement weather is hampering the rescue operation as our teams are waiting at the airports. The village is a three-hour journey on foot from the last road connectivity, he said.
The officials said floods have also been reported from Machail, Paddar and Bunjwah in the district.
The district development commissioner, Kishtwar, said two cloudbursts struck remote Lambard area overnight but there was no report of any loss of life.
There is some damage to infrastructure but exact details are awaited, Sharma said.
He said 60 families were evacuated to safety from the Paddar area in view of incessant rains which posed a threat to their homes.
A defence spokesman said two columns of the Army were mobilised to assist the civil administration in the rescue operation.
“First Army column mobilised early morning and joined civil administration in rescue operation while a second column is reaching the scene shortly,” the spokesman said.
He said one SDRF column is ready to be airlifted from the Jammu Air Force Station subject to weather clearance
Union minister Jitendra Singh and J-K Lt Governor Sinha said they are monitoring the situation arising out of the natural calamity.
The Union minister, in a tweet, said he spoke to district magistrate Kishtwar and air force authorities were contacted for lifting the injured as and when required.
Keeping close track of the situation. Every kind of further help will be provided as per requirement, Singh, who is a member of parliament from Udhampur constituency which also covers Kishtwar, said.
In a tweet on the handle of Office of LG J-K, Sinha said, Saddened over loss of precious lives due to flash floods caused by cloudburst in Dacchan, Kishtwar. My thoughts are with bereaved families.
Spoke to senior authorities and district administration. Army and SDRF team working on war footing to rescue people and trace the missing persons. I am continuously monitoring the situation, the Lt Governor wrote.
In a message, JKPCC Chief G.A. Mir and entire leadership, rank & file of the party expressed deep shock over the loss of precious lives and injuries to several others and asked for rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations on war footing.
The party conveyed deep sense of sympathies & solidarity with the affected people and urged the Govt. to press into service all sorts of men and resources for rescue and relief measures and airlift the injured to the specialized hospitals for saving the lives of injured.
Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said that there are reports of 26 persons lost their lives while 12 others injured in Horzar Nallah at Dachhan Kishtwar.
The party leaders prayed for peace to the departed souls, while praying for recovery of the injured. They urged for adequate ex-gratia relief and compensation to the affected families.
Other leaders who expressed shock on the tragedy include former Ministers G.M. Saroori, Mula Ram, Raman Bhalla, Majid Wani, Yogesh Sawhney, Balwan Singh, Manmohan Singh, Haider Sheikh, Ashok Dogra (Ex-MLA), Naresh Gupta (Ex-MLC), Nadeem Niaz (Member DDC), Sheikh Mujeeb Dist. President Doda, Sham Lal Bhagat, Pyare Lal Shan, Firdous Mingnoo and Sanjay Manhas.
Senior PDP leader and former legislator Fidroud Tak also expressed shock over the unfortunate incident and called for intensification of the rescue operation to save precious lives.
Most parts of Jammu region have been receiving heavy rains for the past few days. With the prediction of more rains till July-end, authorities in Kishtwar have already asked people living along water bodies and slide-prone areas to remain vigilant.
“The meteorological department has predicted heavy rains during the coming days and water levels in rivers and drains are expected to rise, which can pose a threat to the inhabitants residing near rivers, drains, water bodies and slide-prone areas,” the district administration said in an advisory issued late on Tuesday night.
A MET spokesperson said widespread intermittent rain is most likely to continue across Jammu and Kashmir till July 30.
Heavy to very heavy rain is possible at some places and may lead to flash floods, mudslide, landslide and water logging (in low lying areas). People are advised to remain alert as water level has risen in all rivers (owing to incessant rains), the spokesperson said, also asking people not to venture on hilly, landslide and mudslide prone areas.
President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday said he was deeply saddened by the death of many people due to a cloudburst in Kishtwar district and extended his condolences to the bereaved families.
He also wished authorities success in the relief and rescue operations that are currently underway.
At least five people were killed and 12 injured after flash floods triggered by a cloudburst swept away houses in Kishtwar’s Honzar village early this morning, officials said.
Over 25 people are reported missing. A joint rescue operation by the police, the Army and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) is underway, they said.
“Deeply saddened by the death of many people due to cloudburst in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar. I wish success in the ongoing relief and rescue operations for the missing people and extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families,” Kovind said in a tweet in Hindi.
Most parts of the Jammu region have been receiving heavy rains for the past few days. With the prediction of more rains till July-end, authorities in Kishtwar have already asked people living along water bodies and slide-prone areas to remain vigilant.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that the central government is closely monitoring the situation in Kishtwar and Kargil following cloudbursts.
All possible assistance is being provided to the affected areas, he said, wishing for everyone’s safety and well-being.
Five bodies were recovered on Wednesday after some houses were swept away by flash floods triggered by a cloudburst in a remote village in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, a senior official said. Over 25 people are reported missing in the cloudburst which struck Honzar village in Dacchan tehsil around 4.30 am, officials said, adding that a joint rescue operation by police, Army and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) is underway.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday to take stock of the situation arising due to the cloudburst near the holy shrine of Amarnath and in Kishtwar in the Union Territory.
Shah also discussed the situation with Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh.
“I have spoken to L-G of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha and got information about the cloudburst near the holy cave of Baba Amarnath. NDRF teams are being sent there for relief operations and an accurate assessment of the situation,” Shah tweeted in Hindi.
Earlier in the day, Shah said he had spoken to the lieutenant governor and the DGP about the cloudburst in Kishtwar.
“I have spoken to the L-G and DGP of Jammu and Kashmir regarding the cloudburst in Kishtwar (J&K). SDRF, Army and local administration are engaged in rescue work, and NDRF is also reaching there. Our priority is to save as many lives as possible. I express my condolences to the bereaved families,” he said in a tweet in Hindi.
Meanwhile, three minor boys were rescued by State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel on Wednesday after they were caught in a flash flood near swollen Basanter river in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, an official said.
Most parts of the Jammu region have been receiving heavy rains for the past few days. With the prediction of more rains till July-end, authorities have already asked people living along water bodies and slide-prone areas to remain vigilant.
The SDRF component swung into action after getting information that three boys, aged between seven and 13 years, from village Mananu Nud were trapped in flash floods adjoining river Basanter early this morning, the official said.
He said the boys were evacuated to safety during an hour-long rescue operation.
A Meteorological Department spokesperson said widespread intermittent rain is most likely to prevail across Jammu and Kashmir till July 30.
“Heavy to very heavy rain is possible at some places and may lead to flash floods, mudslide, landslide and waterlogging (in low lying areas). People are advised to remain alert as water level has risen in all rivers (owing to incessant rains),” he said.
The spokesperson asked people not to venture on hilly, landslide and mudslide-prone areas.