3 killed, 11 injured; shops, vehicles, tents washed away; Sonmarg-Leh road to remain closed for two days
GANDERBAL: Three persons were killed and about a dozen others were injured, while shops and vehicles were damaged in flash floods triggered by a cloudburst in Baltal, Sonmarg area of Ganderbal district on Friday night.
An official told Kashmir Reader the cloudburst hit a tributary of Bajiri Nallah near Zojila on Srinagar-Leh highway and the resulting flashfloods washed away three persons, two of them minors.
Baltal is base camp for Amarnath pilgrimage and at this time of the year bustling with Hindu pilgrims from India.
Bodies of Pooja (8) daughter of Prakash and Vikram (10) son of Kailash, both residents of Rajasthan and Delhi resident Deepak Prashad son of Gokal Prashad were retrieved from the debris.
Two persons, Abbas Lone son of Abdul Samad Lone of Kangan and Maysoor Ahmad son of Mohammad Yaqoob of Shopian who went missing after the cloudburst were found unhurt at Domail, 4km from Baltal. One of the injured, Abdul Qayoom Bhat son of Abdul Rehman Bhat of Shopian, was airlifted to SKIMS Srinagar for Treatment as his condition was critical.
Eleven persons were injured, while 10 shops, 80 tents and dozens of vehicles swept away by the flash floods were damaged.
The official said a rescue and search operation was jointly launched by the civil administration, police, paramilitary forces and army.
The 434-km Srinagar-Leh highway remained closed for vehicular traffic following landslides triggered by the cloudburst near Fish Point Sonamarg and Ranga and Bajiri nallas. The Amarnath pilgrimage also remained suspended on Saturday.
Beacon and army have pressed men and machinery into service to clear the blocked road. Beacon chief engineer AK Das said it will take two days to clear the Sonmarg-Leh road but Sonmarg-Baltal stretch will reopen by Saturday evening.
Panic gripped Sonamarg village when water damaged ten residential houses. The residents have shifted to safer areas.
July 6: A woman died while four foot bridges were washed away after a cloudburst in Tral and Shopian areas
July 12: Eight people washed away in a flash flood triggered by a cloudburst in Aru, Pahalgam. Five of them died
July 16:4 persons die following a cloudburst in Kullan, Kangan area of Ganderbal district