Cloud burst kills 12 in PaK
Muzaffarabad, Sep 5: At least 12 villagers, including women and children, were drowned in a cloudburst near here on Wednesday in what was described as worst incident of its kind in many years.
The incident occurred in Machiara village, located some 50 kilometres towards the northwest of here, in the foothills of lofty mountains, at about 7:30 am, and till the filing this report only five bodies had been fished out, officials said.
Initially, there were conflicting reports as to what the victims were doing when they were swept away by the ragging torrent, namely Machiara Nullah, but officials said many of them were trying to catch firewood that most water channels bring along during excessive rains.
“Due to the ongoing rains, lot of firewood and split logs was floating in the water channel and as these people were trying to catch those, they were swept away by a cloudburst,” Superintendent Police (SP) Javed Yousuf said.
He told that seven persons were either recovered alive by the villagers or they managed to run away from the wrath of water but with multiple wounds.
A villager who identified himself as Mushtaq Mughal told this correspondent that the young victims were on their way to school, some accompanied by their elders, when they were suddenly hit by the flooded water.
The Machiara Nullah merges into Bhedi Nullah after a few kilometres which, after winding through the mountain slopes, outfalls in River Neelum near Patikka, some 19 kilometres from here.
The police and SDMA officials were unanimous that none of the missing persons could survive.
“Given the difficult terrain, unrelenting rains and swollen water channels, there are no chances of survival of the remaining missing persons,” SP Yousuf said.
Pakistan administered Kashmir’s minister for forests, Sardar Javaid Ayub told this correspondent by phone from Machiara that cloudburst and heavy rain had played havoc with the cultivable land, crops and communication links, cutting off many villages from the main road.
“At least four footbridges on Bhedi Nullah have been wiped out due to which people are facing great inconvenience to move across,” said Ayub, in whose constituency falls the affected area.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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