9 die as landslide buries a house in Budgam

Nayeem Rather

Budgam: Nine people died and seven others are feared dead after a landslide buried a house in Ledan village of Yousmarg, some 35 km from Budgam district headquarters, on early Monday morning.
Bashir Ahmad, a resident of the village, said that at about 2.30am, the villagers were woken up by a loud noise.
“It seemed as if a bomb had exploded. I rushed out of the house and found the house of Lala Hajam had collapsed. We couldn’t find a person who we could save. They were under the debris,” he said.
The villagers soon came to know that the family of Mohammad Shaban Hajam, comprising 11 members, had taken shelter in Lala Hajam’s house after fearing their house would collapse following heavy rains. Five members of Lala’s family too are feared dead.
Those feared dead include nine women, six men and a 22-day-old baby.
“This is fate. Little did they know that death awaits them in Lala’s house which they thought was safe,” said Mohammad Ramzan, a Ledan resident, while pointing to Mohammad Shaban’s house.
So far, bodies of nine persons have been recovered from the debris, said Budgam deputy commissioner Mir Altaf Ahmad. Mir said the people had been asked on Sunday to vacate their homes.
Local residents were assisting government rescue teams in retrieving the bodies from the debris.
“Looking at the situation, it is unlikely that we can find anyone alive,” Mir said.
Fearing the landslides in the adjoining villages of Ledan such as Nilnag, Nagbal, Watkul, the administration claimed 211 families have been evacuated from the landslide prone villages and have been provided 99 makeshift tents besides food and medicines.
“We have set up tents in the Chrar Sharif for the families and they are being looked after there. They will remain in the tents till the situation normalizes,” said DC Budgam.
Landslides have been reported from Khansahib, Kremshore, Chrar town,
Gorwait, Nil Nag, Sitaharan and some other areas of Budgam district.
Elsewhere, more than 200 structures including 176 houses have developed cracks due to land sinking in Shopian district of south Kashmir, it said.
Youth washed away in Udhampur
A youth was washed away in a stream (nullah) and two others were injured in a flash flood triggered by heavy rains Monday in the district.
A youth was washed away in a stream (nullah) and two others were injured in a flash flood triggered by heavy rains today in the district.
A load carrier (vehicle) carrying two bovine animals and some passengers was on its way to Kainth Gali from Batota when the water level of a stream (nullah) at Kultiar in Pancheri tehsil suddenly increased due to heavy rains during wee hours, police officials said.
In the flash flood, Angrez Singh (25) was washed away and two others were injured, police said.
The injured have been shifted to district hospital Udhampur.
Singh’s body is yet to be recovered, they said, adding, an operation has been launched to trace the body.