Cloudbursts in Leh kill 14, toll expected to rise

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Leh District Map
Leh, Aug 6: A series of cloudbursts has claimed as many as 14 lives and left several missing in the Himalayan town of Leh.

Cloudbursts hit Choglumsar area, located about 13 km from here, leading to flash floods killing 14 people.

"We are expecting more bodies and the actual damage will be known only after the water receded," a senior official said.

Officials added that many houses have been washed away in the downpour and feared that the human loss would be heavy along the Sindhu river.

The cloudbursts have destroyed the communication system. As per reports, BSNL network had completely been damaged and the runway of the civil airport had been cut off with the rest of the country.

Relief and rescue work is underway.

Expressing grief over the tragedy, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah deployed civil and police administration to undertake the rescue operations.

A cloudburst is an extreme form of rainfall. The downpour is always voluminous and leads to flash floods. The cloudburst rainfall is sometimes mixed with hail and thunder. It does not last for more than a few minutes but is capable of causing great damage.

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