Seven people have been killed and at least 20 are reported missing after a cloudburst in a remote village in Kishtwar district of Jammu early Wednesday (July 28), reports said.
Rescuers have so far found bodies of five people in Hinjar village in Dacchan area, according to Ashok Kumar Sharma, district development commissioner, Kishtwar.
Army and police teams have been sent to the area to carry out rescue operations.
The Director General of Police-cum-Commandant General Home Guard, Civil Defence and SDRF, VK Singh, said two women were among those killed.
“One of our SDRF teams from Kishtwar reached the affected village and two more teams are on their way from Doda and Udhampur districts. Two more SDRF teams are waiting for the weather to improve to get airlifted from Jammu and Srinagar to the scene and join the rescue mission,” Singh said.
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President Ram Nath Kovind extended his condolences to the bereaved families. “Deeply saddened by the death of many people due to cloudburst in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar. I wish success in the ongoing relief and rescue operations for the missing people and extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families,” Kovind said in a tweet in Hindi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet that the Centre is closely monitoring the situation. “All possible assistance is being made available in the affected areas,” he said.
Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted: “Our priority is to save as many lives as possible.”
Most of Jammu has been inundated with rains for the past few days. Authorities in Kishtwar have asked those living along water bodies and slide-prone areas to stay vigilant, PTI reported.
NHPC Limited, a government hydropower board, also issued a warning. “Water level in Chenab River may rise due to cloudburst 50km upstream of Kiru in Kishtwar district. Due to this, emergent flushing from Salal reservoir may be done at any time. People are advised to not go near riverbanks.”