19 missing remain untraced in Kishtwar village hit by cloudburst

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Even as nine days have passed and the golden hours have ended, nineteen missing people still remain untraced after a massive cloud burst hit a village in Kishtwar district even as the rescue teams are working hard to locate the dead bodies and rescue the injured people. 

The cloudburst had hit Honzar village of Kishtwar, on June 29, destroying nineteen residential houses and leaving seven people dead. 

The State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had reached the spot for rescue operations and have been working ever since on the rescue operations as 19 people continue to remain untraced.   

Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar, Ashok Kumar Sharma, said that nineteen houses were damaged. Out of these houses, seventeen are fully and two are partially damaged. He said that an Additional District Commissioner (ADC) has been deputed to the place as there is no connectivity. 

“There is huge debris and huge boulders. There is an apprehension that these people might have been washed away by water but the rescue teams are at their job,” he said. 

Seven dead bodies were recovered on the first day of the rescue operation and seventeen were rescued in injured condition. Out of these, three people were critical and were referred to Jammu hospital, as per officials. 

Syed Imran, a Kishtwar based relief and rescue volunteer of a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) said he along with other volunteers went to the village several times after trekking for about 5- 6 hours. 

“There is debris everywhere. It is not possible to locate the dead bodies beneath,” he said.  He said that there is still no trace of the missing people. He said on the eight day of the rescue operations, rescuers were able to locate a hen with three eggs under the debris. 

Imran said that at first they heard that the government had managed to provide tents to the people. But, he said, when they reached there, there were two tents in which the police and SDRF forces were just providing relief to the locals there.  

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