52 rescued after cloud burst wrecks havoc in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/7/16 12:48:59

The Pakistani military on Monday recovered 52 people during a rescue operation in a remote village of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir where torrential rains triggered off by cloud burst wrecked havoc early on Monday, an army statement said.

Fifty-two stranded individuals have been evacuated to camps and safer places. Search operation for drowned persons is in progress. Relief effort also includes provision of food, rations and medical care, the army's media wing Inter-Services Public Relations said on its website.

Local media reports said that 22 people including two security personnel, nine locals and 11 preachers who were staying in a mosque were killed after being wiped out by flashflood in the region.

The State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), the body which is responsible for handling emergency situation in Kashmir area in the country, is leading the operation with assistance of the federal National Disaster Management Authority and the military.

Talking to Xinhua, Saeed ur Rehman Qureshi, director of operations at the SDMA, confirmed that 150 houses and two mosques were washed away by the flashflood.

"Some 22 people were washed away with their houses by the flashflood. We do not want to confirm it yet, but all evidences collected from the incident site reveal the unfortunate fact that the missing people are no more."

He added that the incident happened in a remote village in the region so the killed or trapped people did not include any local or foreign tourist, except the preachers who were swept away with the mosque.

Explaining cloud burst, Muhammad Riaz, the director general of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, told Xinhua that such weather pattern is very rare, occurring during the monsoon season and it happens when warm air mixes with cold monsoon air. He added that sometimes monsoon clouds get burst by mountains coming in their way, and the rain which has to scatter in a larger area pours down in a narrow radius.

He said that they had already issued weather advisory to the area, suggesting the authorities to be prepared for untoward situation as heavy rains were expected in the area, but cloud burst was not expected as it is very difficult to forecast.

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