Landslide kills 51 in Skardu


Shabbir Mir August 08, 2010

GILGIT: At least 51 people died in a landslide in Skardu, while hundreds of houses, livestock and orchards were swept away after a fresh wave of torrential rains on Sunday.

“A massive landslide killed 36 people in Kamrah-Aliabad while three people died in Shoot village,” a resident from Skardu told The Express Tribune by telephone.

They said that in Tilis village of Ghanche district, a pre-dawn landslide swept away 15 people besides hitting dozens of houses and livestock in the village.

Residents in Skardu said that at least 15 people had also gone missing in landslide-hit villages. Sources said that the calamity has left more than 3,000 homeless in the region that is said to be experiencing the worst floods in history.

In Gilgit, one person was killed in Kargah, whereas 30 houses were damaged by torrents of water.

Meanwhile, officials in the Provincial Disaster Management Authority said that they were waiting for the confirmation of death and destruction caused by floods across Gilgit-Baltistan.

In Ghizer district, floods triggered by torrential rains inundated 15 houses in Damas and 12 houses in Birgal villages of Punial Valley, leaving hundreds of people homeless, said a resident Khalil Ahmed. He added that floods have destroyed standing crops and other property.

The main bridge connecting  Hatoon village was washed away by surging water in the Baseen area of Gilgit, officials said. The surging Gilgit river flooded various low-lying houses, leaving hundreds of survivors homeless and without food and drinking water.

In Jaglot Gooro, lightening caused floods in the ravine affecting 30 houses and disrupting rehabilitation work on the Karakoram Highway. In Gojal valley, the surging Hunza River washed away a bridge on the River Khyber, delinking the region with the rest of the country. Similarly, the rising level of Hyderabad nullah caused floods in the area, destructing central water channel and the water supply. Commissioner Baltistan Division Dr Sajid Chauhan told journalists in Skardu that the relief activities were being provided to the people in the flood-hit areas.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2010.

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