Leh cloudbursts:115 dead, toll to rise further

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Leh District Map
Leh, Aug 7: The series of cloudbursts that hit Leh late on Thursday, Aug 5 night has claimed over 115 lives and injured more than 350 people as of Friday, Aug 6.

With hundreds feared to have been washed away by the flash floods that were triggered off by the heavy downpour, the death toll is expected to rise further.

"So far, 115 bodies have been found. At least 340 people have been injured and they are undergoing treatment in Leh hospitals," Inspector General of Police (Kashmir zone) Farooq Ahmad told a news agency.

Several government offices and houses have been wiped out in the fury of the water. With several far flung villages were yet to be accessed by rescue teams in the high-altitude terrain of the Himalayan town, the death could cross 500, fear officials.

The dead include four constables of the state police who were killed during the rescue operation in Leh town, while a sub-inspector of police, who was part of the rescue team, is still missing, Ahmad informed adding that the state police have set up tented accommodation for 2,000 victims in Choglamsar village and Leh town where free meals are being served.

Relief and rescue operation is being carried out in Leh town by over 6,000 soldiers as well as troopers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Moving around on foot is still a difficult task. As per the latest inputs, the communication lines are still down and the highways are still inaccessible.

Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah flew to Leh to assess the situation. A three-member Central team including Farooq Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Prithviraj Chavan will be visiting the area on Saturday, Aug 8.

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