KISHTWAR CLOUDBURST 19 missing still untraceable; chances of survival fade

19 missing still untraceable; chances of survival fade
Rescuers trace survivors after cloudburst hit Honzer village of Kishtwar, on Thursday. [Picture for representation only].@igpjmu/Twitter

Jammu: Hopes of finding any survivor faded after 19 missing people of Hunzar village in Kishtwar cloudburst remained untraceable during intensive search operation that continued for the third consecutive day on Friday.

Officials said that the rescue and search teams were unable to find the missing 19 people even as specialized teams of SDRF and one team of NDRF with dog-squad were engaged in the operations.

Meanwhile, the Additional Director General of Police, Jammu Mukesh Singh and Divisional Commissioner Jammu Dr Raghav Langer personally supervised the rescue and relief operation in the cloudburst hit Hunzar during their two-day visit to the area.

A team of NDRF along with a dog-squad was air-lifted to Sonder in an IAF chopper on Thursday, an official said. From Sonder, the team with the sniffer dogs reached Hunzar on foot as there was no road connectivity in the remote village of hilly district Kishtwar.

“It is difficult for humans to retrieve the bodies of the missing persons. Therefore, we had requested for a dog squad so that it could be helpful for the rescue teams to find the bodies,” said Additional Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar Kishori Lal Sharma.

“21 residential houses, 21 cattle-sheds besides other infrastructure were damaged in an area spread over 200 kanals of land in Hunzar village due to cloud burst. The land has been destroyed completely,” said ADC Kishtwar.

He said that the rescue and relief work were going on in full swing in Hunzar.

“We are in the process of identifying State land which will be handed over to the landless villagers who have lost their land in the cloud burst,” he said.

He further said, “Second team of NDRF today left for the village and they will join the rescue operation. This team is well-equipped with lighting equipment, cutters, heavy equipment, gen-sets, and other things,” he informed.

Meanwhile, three injured were shifted to the District Hospital Kishtwar, an official said. A total of 11 villagers, who suffered minor injuries in cloud burst, were still under treatment; 2 at PHC Hunzar and 9 at Dachhan, the ADC Kishtwar added.

Besides, Ababeel, an NGO, also prepared its team of 25 to 30 volunteers to be sent to Hunzar village with relief, ration, utensils, and other essentials. Earlier the Additional Director General of Police, Jammu Mukesh Singh and Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Raghav Langer trekked on foot for a total 34 kms (both sides) to get the first hand information amidst difficult terrain and continuous rainfall in the cloudburst hit Hunzar village.

Accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar Ashok Sharma; DIG DKR range Uday Bhaskar Billa; SSP Kishtwar Shafqat Hussain Butt; ADC Kishtwar, Kishori Lal Sharma; SDM Marwah Dr Mohsin Raza, DFO Marwah, Vijay Kumar; Executive Engineer PMGSY Mohammed Aslam Lone besides other officers, the team of officers supervised and monitored the rescue operation being conducted by the teams of SDRF, NDRF, police, military, district administration and locals.

The Div Com and ADGP conducted on-site inspection of devastation caused by flash floods which were triggered by excessive rain and cloudburst.

Indian Air Force (IAF) had pressed three helicopters from Jammu, Srinagar and Udhampur and made eight sorties, transferring relief load of 2250 kgs, 44 NDRF and SRDF personnel and four medical assistants besides evacuating two critically injured persons from Sondar to Kishtwar for specialised treatment.

Six teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) with sophisticated equipment were involved in the operation along with other rescuers from police, army and local volunteers, the officials said.

During the visit, the Div Com and ADGP met the villagers and victims and also enquired about the operation being conducted by the rescue teams. The locals demanded the constitution of a Rehabilitation Committee to facilitate the provision of relief and rehabilitation of the affected people in an efficient and transparent manner.

They demanded for the employment of the NOKs of the deceased on immediate basis besides restoration of essential services like electricity, water supply and other relief measures.

The Div Com listened to their grievances and said that the government was at their doorstep to provide each and every possible relief in these tough times.

Besides, he assured them that directions were issued to the concerned officers for making all provisions for restoring normal life in the area. He directed SDM Marwah to expedite the process of disbursement of compensation as per SDRF norms as already announced by the UT government to be extended into the accounts of the victims on immediate basis.

Further, DFO was to repair the damaged infrastructure like bridges etc as per SDRF rules.

Besides, Dr Langer directed the heads of all the concerned departments to assess the damages in livestock etc for necessary actions. Enroute, he also met with delegations at Suid, Sonder and Hunzar and listened to their demands. People demanded a Public Health Centre (PHC) at Hunzar, establishment of a helipad at Hunzar besides demanding timber, special SPO recruitment and establishment of a bank branch at Suid.

He assured them that all their genuine demands and issues would be addressed at an earliest with all possible efforts.

Meanwhile, ADGP Jammu Zone Mukesh Singh advised all district SPs of Jammu Zone to provide all assistance in their respective districts to the people affected by incessant rain.

“The police should be at the forefront of the efforts to provide support to the people affected by the inclement weather,” he added. “Control Rooms have been established in some districts affected by the rain. Accordingly, all SHOs and Incharge Police Posts, are on alert and have been briefed to act as rescue teams in case of need,” he said. He said, “People have been advised to take precautions, listen to the advisory of the administration and police and not to move close to any river or nallah during the rainy season.”

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir