Normalcy returns to Leh a week after cloudburst

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Leh, Aug 13 (ANI): Normalcy has gradually returned to Leh district of Jammu and Kashmir after it was adversely affected by a cloudburst followed by unexpected floods a week ago.

The Army, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) personnel, police and civilian authorities have worked almost round the clock to remove the piles of mud and other debris.

"Now it is one week after the cloudburst; the situation is improving. ITBP and the Army personnel are helping us," said Phuchok Spardong, a grocery shop owner.

Many nearby villages had been completely flattened by the mud and slush of the turbulent rivers.

The local administrations with the aid of the Army and the para-military forces have worked hard to restore normal life in the region.

"The restoration of road was the first priority and the administration did it on the first day itself. Subsequently, we have cleared all the malba (debris) and connectivity within Leh and other areas have been restored," said T Angchok, Deputy Commissioner of Leh.

He also mentioned that the administration had provided essential items to the needy within 24 hours of the disaster.

"The Leh administration has achieved normalcy within 24 hours and things have been provided and restored to a extent which was possible. Now we are providing essential things like water, power supply etc. In Leh town, 75 percent power supply has been restored that was not an easy thing," added Angchok.

Ladakh was devastated after the region was ravaged by flash floods caused by a sudden cloudburst on August 6 that claimed more than 170 lives, and injured hundreds of others. Around 500 persons are reportedly still missing.

More than 7,000 soldiers were involved in the rescue and relief work in the region, which shares borders with China and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Helicopters of the Air Force have dropped and distributed food, drinking water, and other aid materials to remote villages that have been almost isolated from the rest of the state after the cloudburst. By Shashank Shantanu (ANI)

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