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220 foreigners missing in Ladakh floods

By Abdul Nisar
leh floods
Srinagar, Aug 11: Indian search team continued searching for the missing people in sudden rain storms in Himalayan region of Ladakh.

On Wednesday, Aug 11 Indian search teams tried to locate foreign tourists in Ladakh after five Europeans were declared to be among the 185 people killed in floods.

Sudden rain storms on Friday, Aug 6 triggered flash floods that swept away buildings, roads and power cables in the town of Leh, and stranded many tourists in the mountains.

About 400 local people are still missing after rivers of mud and rock poured down valleys and swamped villages.

"Today our helicopters evacuated around 35 tourists including two children stranded near a Buddhist monastery situated at an altitude of 14,000 feet," said Priya Joshi, Indian Air Force spokeswoman.

"Most of them were Europeans. We carried out more than 40 helicopter sorties today to bring out these people and operations are continuing," she added.

Officials reported that 185 people were killed and around 400 people were missing. Many people are feared buried in the village of Choglamsar on the outskirts of Leh. Sniffer dogs have been trying to locate bodies, but progress has been slow.

The Kashmir government officials told they were still trying to establish the exact number and location of tourists via embassies and travel agencies.

Thousands of visitors from India and elsewhere travel to Ladakh each year during Jul and Aug for trekking and rafting expeditions and to experience the area's ancient Buddhist culture.

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