Kishtwar cloudburst: ‘If only there was mobile connectivity, could’ve saved lives’

Honzar cloudburst
People of Honzar village in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir claim that “had there been mobile and internet connectivity in their hamlet, they could have saved some lives” when the cloudburst struck their village in July this year | All photos by Alok Pathania

A foul smell chases you the moment you set foot in the remote Honzar hamlet in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district. Villagers say this terrible smell emanates from the rotting bodies and decaying carcasses buried under the mud and sludge following a cloudburst that hit the hilly region in July this year.

In the deluge that could well be called the "worst disaster" in Kishtwar's history, 26 people lost their lives. So far, seven bodies have been recovered by the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the NDRF and other paramilitary forces while 19 people are still missing as per the police record.

According to a senior Jammu and Kashmir Police officer, among the 26 who lost their lives, 23 were local residents and three were Bakarwals (nomads). 19 others suffered injuries and were shifted to the district hospital in Kishtwar or the Government Medical Colleges in Srinagar and Jammu, depending on the kind of treatment they required. All the injured are stable now, a police officer said.

The ravage

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