A series of flash floods in Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh killed at least 16 people on Wednesday and damaged several residential houses, standing crops and a mini power plant, officials said.
In Kishtwar, a cloudburst hit a remote village around 4:30 am, leaving seven people dead and 17 others injured, while at least nine people are dead, two injured and seven reported missing in the flash floods in the hilly state, they said.
In Ladakh, two cloudbursts hit different areas of Kargil, causing damage to a mini power project, nearly a dozen residential houses and standing crops, the officials said, adding that no loss of life was reported in the cloudbursts, which struck Sangra and Khangral on Tuesday evening.
Seven people died in Himachal Pradesh's Lahaul-Spiti flash floods in Tozing Nullah in Udaipur, two injured and three are still missing, while two men died in Chamba, State Disaster Management director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta said.
Besides four people, including a woman, her son, a hydro project official and a Delhi tourist are feared dead in Kullu district, he added.
In Kishtwar, 19 houses, 21 cow sheds and a ration depot situated on the banks of a stream, besides a bridge were damaged in the cloudburst. A search and rescue operation by police, Army and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) is underway to locate over 14 people who are still missing from the scene of the cloudburst at village Honzar in Dacchan tehsil, the officials said.
Condoling the loss of lives due to a cloudburst in Kishtwar district, President Ram Nath Kovind said he was deeply saddened by the death of many people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Centre is closely monitoring the situation in Kishtwar. All possible assistance is being provided to the affected areas, he said, wishing for everyone's safety and well-being.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh and took stock of the situation arising due to the cloudburst.
"Seven bodies were recovered from the cloudburst-hit village (Kishtwar), while 17 others were rescued in an injured condition so far," a police official told PTI.
Efforts are on to locate 14 missing people, he said, adding that the condition of five of the rescued persons was reported to be critical. In Lahaul's Udaipur, two tents of labourers and a private JCB were washed away in the flash floods around 8 pm on Tuesday, Mokhta said, adding that 12 labourers were washed away in the flash floods in Tozing Nullah in Udaipur.
Of them, seven bodies recovered, two rescued with injuries and three are still missing, he added. Lahaul-Spiti Deputy Commissioner Neeraj Kumar told .