Kishtwar cloudburst: NDRF joins Indian Army, state agencies in relief operations
Kishtwar cloudburst in Jammu and Kashmir: The Indian Army has made provisions for meals and rations for the disaster-stricken village of Honzar.
Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a bout of natural disasters on Wednesday after a cloudburst in the Gulabgarh area of Kishtwar district killed at least seven people, flooding multiple regions. According to officials familiar with the matter, as many as 19 people are still missing, while five remain critically injured. A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been rushed to the site for rescue and relief operations, officials added.
The cloud burst over the Honzar village in J&K's Kishtwar district. The village was caught in a flash flood, triggered due to the cloudburst, which led to the deaths and injuries. Earlier on Wednesday, two columns of the Indian Army were rushed to the disaster site to assist the civil administration in rescue operations, while officials confirmed that three teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are about to be deployed.
Manoj Sinha, the lieutenant-governor (LG) of Jammu and Kashmir, told news agencies, "An SDRF team is waiting to be airlifted at Jammu while two SDRF teams are on stand-by. An NDRF team from Punjab has been rushed for rescue and relief operations."
The rescue operations had to be halted later by the Jammu and Kashmir police on Wednesday due to heavy rains, news agency ANI reported. However, the Indian Army continued its relief operations and made provisions for meals and rations for the disaster-stricken village.
"Till now seven dead bodies have been recovered, and 17 people have been rescued. Out of the 17 people who were rescued, five are critically injured. At least 19 people are still missing," said Udayabhaskar Billa, the deputy inspector general of police (DIG) of Doda. He added that rescue teams are putting in all efforts to reach the victims of the natural calamity timely, but delays are happening due to unsuitable weather conditions.
Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has announced an ex-gratia of ₹5 lakh each for the next of kin of those who lost their lives in the tragic cloudburst in Kishtwar.
In a separate incident, a cloud burst over Amarnath in south Kashmir on Wednesday; however, no casualties have yet been reported from the site. Meanwhile, two State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) teams are present in the disaster-hit area near the cave. One additional SDRF team has been deployed from Ganderbal.
Union home minister Amit Shah has taken stock of the cloudburst situation in Jammu and Kashmir and has been personally keeping in touch with the authorities there, reports said.