Cloudburst Claims 5 Lives

SRINAGAR: At least five people are feared dead after a cloudburst hit central Kashmir district of Ganderbal last night.

The deceased have been identified as 15-year-old Iqra Majid and 10-year-old Momin Ahmad Baba, both residents of village Kullan in Ganderbal district. An unidentified body has also been recovered from river Sindh. 

Official sources said that two children were washed away at Kulan after the cloudburst. Their bodies were later recovered at a distance. “A woman Rukhsana and her 4-year-old son Aquib Baba were still missing and feared dead,” officials said and adding that rescue operation is still going on.

“There is mess everywhere. Vehicles and houses have got damaged. Rescue Operation is in full swing and all efforts are on to trace the missing two persons,” said Dr Rafiq, who is part of rescue operation.

Senior civil and police officials, including Deputy Commissioner, Ganderbal were camping in the area to monitor the rescue operation. Exact damage caused by the cloudburst was being ascertained, they said.

Meanwhile a cloudburst and heavy overnight rains Friday wrecked havoc in Kralpora area of Chadora in Budgam district.

Though there were no reports of any casualty the residents of the area said that the cloudbursts caused ex-tensive damage to scores of residential houses, besides destroying crops worth lakhs of rupees.

The villagers said that cloudburst struck at around 8.30 P.M and the blast with water flowing down created panic among the people. “The water forced its way into the houses,” Sajad Ahmad Sofi, a resident said.

He said that their crops and properties were badly hit. “We are without electricity and water supply also,” he said.

Meanwhile, the district administration said that preliminary assessment had revealed that scores of kanals of land with standing crops have got damaged and few structures have been partially damaged.

Meanwhile, a porter died when he was struck by lightning in Panjtarni area along the traditional Pahalgam route. The deceased was identified as Manzoor Ahmad Sheikh.

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