hree more bodies were recovered from the debris by the joint teams during a rescue operation launched in cloudburst hit Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said the government is closely monitoring the situation.
Earlier in the morning four bodies were recovered after a cloudburst triggered flash floods on early Wednesday in remote village Honjar of Dachhan in Kishtwar district.
However, several people are still said to be missing.
An administrative official said bodies of three more people thus taking the death toll to seven have been recovered even as heavy rains have been hindering search operations to trace out missing people, adding, “flash floods triggered by cloudburst hit around the population of 8-9 houses in the area.”
He further said several people are still missing, adding, “the exact number of missing people is not yet known but around one dozen injured persons have also been rescued.”
Teams of Police, Army and SDRF have reached the spot and rescue operation is still in progress.
“Central Government is closely monitoring the situation in the wake of the cloudbursts in Kishtwar and Kargil. All possible assistance is being made available in the affected areas. I pray for everyone’s safety and well-being,” the Prime Minister Tweeted.
A senior official said six houses and one ration depot were also damaged in the flash floods.
Union Minister Amit Shah taking the micro-blogging site said, “I have spoken to the LG & DGP of Jammu & Kashmir regarding cloudburst in Kishtwar. SDRF, Army & local administration are carrying out the rescue operation. NDRF is also reaching there. Our priority is to save as many lives as possible.”
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said the situation in Kishtwar is being closely monitored after the district was hit by cloudburst on Wednesday.
Air Force authorities have also been contacted for airlifting the injured if required, he added.
Dr Singh, who is Member Parliament from Kathua-Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha Constituency, tweeted that he had spoken to DM Ashok Sharma. Following a cloudburst in the Dachhan region, 30 to 40 people are missing.
“Rescue operations going on with help of SDRF and Army. Air Force authorities contacted for lifting the injured as and when required,” Dr Singh Tweeted, adding, “keeping close track of the situation. Every kind of further help will be provided as per requirement.”
Meanwhile, SDRF teams from Doda and Udhampur have been pressed into service for rescue operations, while another SDRF team is being airlifted from Jammu.
“One team of NDRF and SDRF team from Srinagar kept on standby for airlifting from Srinagar while one NDRF team was on way from Jammu towards Kishtwar,” an official said.
Jammu based Defence Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand said two Indian Army Columns mobilised to assist civil administration of J&K in rescue operations in District Kishtwar.
“First Army column mobilised early in the morning and joined the civil administration of J&K in the rescue operation. Second Army column reaching shortly,” he said and added, “one SDRF column ready to be airlifted from Air Force station Jammu subject to weather clearance.”
Earlier, Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar, Ashok Sharma confirmed the report of cloudburst to UNI and said, “it is a remote village and exact details are yet to be received.”
“There is a population of 8 to 10 houses from where the cloudburst is reported. Rescue teams are dispatched to the spot which is an on-foot travel of a few kilometres,” he said.
The MeT has also sounded weather alerts with advisory.
“At present, it’s cloudy at most places of J&K with thunderstorms and rain at some places of Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi and neighbourhood,” Sonam Lotus, Director IMD, J&K said.
He said widespread intermittent rain will most likely continue till July 30 and heavy rain is also possible at some places.
In an advisory, the MeT said it may lead to flash flood, mudslide, landslide and water logging (low lying areas).
“Accordingly, people are advised to remain alert and very cautious as water levels have increased in all rivers. Don’t venture out on hilly and landslides, mudslide prone areas,” said Director Lotus.
Kishtwar police is making announcements in their respective jurisdictions appealing people to stay alert and shift to safer destinations.
Moreover in view of incessant and heavy rainfall in Kishtwar district, water level in most of the Rivers and Nallahs is continuously rising and most of them are heavily flooded.
“There is every apprehension of landslides in Hilly areas,” police said.
Kathua and Kishtwar District Police have also established a help desk and people are advised to stay at home and not to move close to any water body.
In case of any emergency, people can contact the officers and helpline numbers of police.