August 10, 2010

Disaster Land Leh Coming Back in Life

As rescue and relief efforts continued for the fourth day in Leh, the death toll climbed to 165, with about 200 people, includes two French nationals, still remaining missing. Of the 165 people, 121 have been identified so far. The army has got in sniffer dogs by Indian Air Force aircraft to look for more bodies, besides using heavy-duty bulldozers and earthmovers.

At about 1.30 am on August 6, Leh in Ladakh experienced a cloudburst that triggered torrential rains, flash floods and mudslide in the region.
The survivors have been shifted to a medical camp set up at a nearby village above Chuglumsar village – where the mudslide hit first.
After days of despair, there was, however, some good news for the Leh residents. The government promised to restore the communication link soon as the IAF brought in BSNL equipment.
The BSNL network became non-functional, as the telecom equipment and towers were washed away in the flash flood.
The government also promised to restore the Leh-Manali highway in three days. But reopening of the Leh-Srinagar highway, according to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, might take seven to 10 days.
Abdullah also visited Leh for the second time after the calamity.
The highway which got swept away by flash floods is one of the two road links between the 'cold desert' and other parts of the country.