Three people have been killed and several houses and shops destroyed as flash floods followed by a cloudburst wreaked havoc in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir in the early hours today.
The cloudburst took place around 2 am today at Thatri town of the district, causing flash floods. Half-a-dozen houses were washed away along the Batote-Kishtwar National Highway, leaving several people trapped. Six people, including a 12-year-old boy, were rescued from under the debris. Rescue work is going on in the area.
Iftkhar Ahmed, DSP (headquarters) Doda, said the water level suddenly rose in the drain after the cloudburst, washing away several structures along its path. "We cannot assess the exact loss of life or property immediately as we are in the midst of rescue operations,” he said.
Several others were still under the debris and causalities could not be ruled out, he said. "The entire district administration along with the police and Army have started rescue operation on a war footing,” the police official said.
The Batote-Doda-Kishtwar National Highway (NH1B) was closed due to huge boulders at Thathri market triggered by the cloudburst.
Doda, which falls in the Jammu region, has witnessed heavy rainfall this monsoon. Last week too, heavy rainfall was reported in Doda district. Earlier this week, landslides due to heavy rains in Jammu and Kashmir's Ramban district had forced the authorities to temporarily suspend traffic on the arterial Jammu-Srinagar national highway that connects Jammu and the Kashmir valley.