At least five persons were killed and 25 others are believed missing after a cloudburst triggered flash floods in the Dacchan area of the Kishtwar region of Chenab Valley, the police said. The flash floods were triggered by cloudbursts hitting residential areas leading to the killing of five persons and the missing of nearly 25. The bodies of five people have been recovered even as heavy rains have been hindering search operations to trace out missing people.
“Area is inaccessible both through roads and communication. The government spent crores of rupees on providing V Sets to Panchayats for establishing communication-but due to prevailing corruption-these V Sets can’t be made functional for the past last several years,” says local journalist of the area Asif Naik.
Footage shows water flowing at high speed in Kishtwar:
Sonam Lotus, the director of the meteorological department Jammu & Kashmir has issued a severe weather alert for J&K. “At present, it's cloudy at most places of J&K with thunderstorm and rain at some places of Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi and neighbourhood are expected,” he said. He said the widespread intermittent rain is most likely to continue till July 30 and heavy to very heavy rain is also possible at some places and it may lead to flash floods, mudslides, landslides, and waterlogging.
Authorities in Kishtwar have asked people living along water bodies and slide-prone areas to remain vigilant.
"The meteorological department has predicted heavy rains during the upcoming days and water levels in rivers and nallas are expected to rise, which can pose a threat to the inhabitants residing near rivers, nallas, water bodies and slide-prone areas," the district administration said in an advisory issued late on Tuesday night.
The J&K government said that an SDRF team has been augmented from Doda and Udhampur. Another SDRF team is being airlifted by Air Force helicopter from Jammu to Kishtwar and
one team each of the NDRF and SDRF from Srinagar have been kept on standby for airlifting from Srinagar to Kishtwar.