MIRPUR: At least 28 people were killed and several seriously injured, besides 130 residential houses, 70 shops and 15 different types of vehicles destroyed, in a terrible incident of cloud burst in the Lessva village in the mountainous Neelam Valley of Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) late Sunday.
Central Police Control Room of Neelam Valley district said on Monday afternoon the catastrophe resulted in proverbial bloodbath of dwellers of Lessva village, about 30 kilometres from the Zero Point of the Athmuqaam District Headquarter of Neelam Valley . It said at about 7.30 Sunday night there was mammoth landsliding on a large part of the hilly-terrain thickly-populated village. Rescue teams were immediately rushed from Athmuqaam DHQ besides from capital town of Muzaffarabad to evacuate the affected people besides to recover bodies of residents, In-charge of the police control room said.
AJK Chief Secretary Mathar Niaz Rana, Inspector General Police AJK Salahuddin Khan, DIG Police HQ, Commissioner Muzaffarabad division and other officials of the concerned state bodies rushed to the scene to assess the situation besides to supervise the rescue operation. The locals also participated in the operation on self-help basis.
Seriously injured persons were rushed to the nearby hospitals and the CMH Muzaffarabad, where they were being provided with medical aid, according to the PCR Athmuqaam. The far flung mountainous village of Lessva was lashed with heavy rainfall that caused overflooding of seasonal Lessva Nullah passing through the town following severe lightning and cloud burst.
The Nullah, which overflowed its banks simultaneously led to landsliding of the major populous area, causing the burial of 28 persons alive besides injuring several other people. Those who lost life included nine local residents besides 13 others belonging to ‘Tableeghi Jamaat’ who were on a routine trip to the area.
Some 130 houses, 70 shops, six mosques, 15 vehicles including six four wheelers and motor bikes and one Hi-Ace wagon were washed away andtotally destroyed in the first catastrophe of its own kind in the area.
Rescue teams of the State Disaster Management Authority, police, health department, civil defence, PRCS volunteers and locals immediately rushed to the spot and participated in the rescue operation in Lessva village’s bazaar which was totally washed away in the tragic incident.
An official statement issued by the Divisional Commissioner’s office Monday said that a control room had been set up in the commissioner’s office for securing immediate necessary further information about the tragic incident. People may contact on land line telephone No 05822-920097 and 05822-920056 at the control room.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday expressed grief over the loss of human lives in Neelam Valley flash flood . The premier has asked relevant authorities to speed up the rescue activities in the flash flood area. Rescue officials are trying to get past the roadblocks to the village but the terrain is a difficult one and no worthwhile help has reached the affected area. -- Agencies
Meanwhile, army troops are assisting the civil administration for rescue and relief of affected population due to land slide near the Lessva village and flashflood in Neelum-Jhelum River at Nauseri, Danni, says an ISPR press release on Monday. Relief camps have been established while 52 stranded individuals have been heli evacuated to camps/safer places. Search operation for drowned persons is in progress. Relief effort also includes provision of food, rations and medical care.