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Army sets up relief camp for flood victims in Leh

Leh, Thu, 12 Aug 2010 ANI

Leh, Aug 12 (ANI): Indian Army and paramilitary personnel have erected relief camps and are providing food and medical aid to locals, as they begin to rebuild their lives in the flood ravaged region of Leh, Ladakh.


Leh was devastated after the region was ravaged by flash floods caused by a sudden cloudburst on August 6 that claimed over 150 lives, and injured hundreds of others.


Personnel of the Indian Army, Air Force and other paramilitary forces are conducting rescue and relief operations.


The GREF (General Reserve Engineer Force) and Border Roads Organisation engineers erected pontoon bridges to re-establish communication links in and around Leh, the main city in remote Ladakh region.


The survivors, who have lost their homes and property in the floods, said they were still scared to go back just yet.


"We are very scared nowadays. We do not want to go back just now, we are scared. We do not know when it will start raining again and we will not be able to escape it again. So we are going to stay here for some more time. The Army has helped us a lot. They have given us food and shelter," said Tundu Tangzes, a local.


Migrant labourers said they also feared for their lives and many said they will not be coming back next year no matter how lucrative the jobs are.


"I was awake when the floods came, I tried to run but the water swept me away. I was washed away by the water but got stuck in some wires after some time, and then I managed to make my way out of the water," said Shiv, a Nepalese labourer.


Lt General B. S. Jaswal, Northern Command Chief, visited the injured in the Army hospital and took an aerial survey of the flood devastation.


"We have faced a lot of damage, but my brave men have done a great job. Without caring about their own lives and damage to their infrastructure, they helped all the civilians here," said Lt General B. S. Jaswal.


More than 7,000 soldiers were conducting rescue and relief work in the region, which shares borders with China and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.


Indian Air Force helicopters have airdropped and distributed food, drinking water, and other aid materials to remote villages that have been completely cut off from the rest of Jammu And Kashmir State.


Residents have been facing hardship as many villages have been completely flattened by the turbulent rivers of mud. By Shashank Shantanu (ANI)


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