Friday, August 6, 2010

Flash floods kill 88 in Indian Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Nearly 90 people were killed and hundreds injured after rare rainfall triggered flash floods Friday in an area of Indian Kashmir popular with foreign fans of high-altitude adventure sports. The overnight floods, prompted by an intense cloudburst, tore through Leh, the main town in the Buddhist-dominated Ladakh region, causing what state Tourism Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora described as "unprecedented" devastation. Television footage showed scenes reminiscent of an earthquake, with collapsed buildings, downed power lines and residents scrabbling knee-deep through mud to try to dig survivors out of the rubble. The floods hit Leh and surrounding villages without warning during the night when most residents were asleep.
"At least 88 bodies have been recovered and dozens are still missing," a police spokesman said from Leh by telephone. At least 300 people were reported injured.

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