12 August, 2010

Leh: Save the Children response

Latest Updates
* 130 people are confirmed dead 600 people have been reported missing; 200 from a small village before Choglumsur.
* Within a minutes cloudburst and heavy rainfall the lives of hundreds lost and thousands displaced; and inflicted large scale damage to homes and to the districts communications networks and infrastructure.
* The Prime Minister has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 1 lakh to the families of the deceased, and Rs. 50,000 to those who have been seriously injured
* Government rescue efforts are well underway in the flood affected district.
* Save the Children is the lead NGO on the ground, and has begun its assessment of the scale of the flood damage and its affects for children and their families.

Current Situation
Within a minute, a cloudburst over the district of Leh in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, brought a high concentration of rainfall to the area causing flooding and landslides. 130 people are confirmed dead, approximately 400 are injured and 600 people are missing. "We have recovered 130 bodies so far and at least 370 are injured. The number of missing is yet to be ascertained," State Police Chief Kuldeep Khoda said, adding the toll may go up.
A small village before Choglumsur, which bore the brunt of the incessant rains, was completely wiped out as rescue workers were looking for survivors in the mud slush and debris. Over 200 people were still reported to be missing from the worst-hit village Choglumsar, 13 kms from here. The death toll is expected to rise, as some of the affected villages remain inaccessible. Weather conditions have not yet improved and rainfall has been continuous since late Thursday night, hampering rescue efforts. The continuous rainfall increases the risk of additional landslides, further challenging rescue and relief efforts.
While the airport in Leh has reopened, poor weather conditions have made air travel difficult. Flights carrying relief materials and personnel have been unable to land however, the Civil Aviation Ministry is coordinating with the State Government to have relief materials airlifted to the affected areas as roads and highways remain closed.
The government has begun relief and rescue efforts, providing food and cooking materials to the affected families. 6000 soldiers have been deployed to the affected areas. The Prime Minister has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 1 lakh to families of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to those seriously injured.

Extract from a post on the Save The Children site where you can also find info about what is needed and how to donate to their efforts.

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