Jammu & Kashmir

At least 24 feared dead after rains, flashfloods wreak havoc in Neelum valley

At least 24 people were feared dead and several others reported missing on Monday after heavy rains and flashfloods in Neelum valley area of Azad Kashmir.
A cloudburst led to rain and thunder and resulting flash floods caused wide-scale destruction in the valley’s Lesswa area, the Director Operations of the state disaster management authority Saeed-ur-Rehman said.
At least 24 people are feared to have died after being swept away by the flashfloods, which damaged up to 150 houses and a mosque.
The people, who were reported missing after the flashfloods, included 11 from a Tableeghi party, while the others were said to be locals.
Several people were still stranded in their houses and efforts were underway to evacuate them.
The director operations of the disaster management authority said shops were also damaged in the area and vehicles of several tourists also went missing due to the flashfloods.
The telecommunication system faced severe damage and teams have been dispatched to carry out rescue activities in the area, he said.
Officials warned the death toll could increase as rescuers struggled to reach affected areas, and with the floods badly damaging communications.