New Delhi: A series of cloudbursts that struck different parts of the Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday reportedly killed 17 and 24 others missing, as per reports from news agencies.

In Jammu and Kashmir the cloud bursts hit Dacchan and Boujwa areas in Kishtwar, the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, Bandipora in north Kashmir. While Kargil in Ladakh and cloud burst caused devastation in Himachal’s Lahaul-Spiti and Chamba districts.

Seven bodies were recovered from the worst-hit Dacchin area of Kishtwar, while one person reportedly drowned in swollen Saktoi nallah in Rajouri district on Wednesday taking the death toll in J&K to 8, the officials were quoted by PTI.

Dozens of residential houses, several bridges and a mini-hydro power project have been destroyed, the officials told PTI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed condolences to the bereaved families and said that the Centre was closely monitoring the situation. He assured that all possible assistance is being provided to the affected areas.

While, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and DGP Dilbagh Singh and took stock of the situation arising due to the cloudbursts.

L-G Sinha announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased in Kishtwar, he said the grievously injured would get Rs 50,000 each and Rs 12,700 under the SDRF.

“Seventeen people were rescued and evacuated to hospital. Condition of three of them was stated to be serious,” Kishtwar District Development Commissioner (DDC) Ashok Kumar Sharma said.

“There is some damage to infrastructure including three bridges but exact details are awaited,” Sharma said. Nearly 60 families were evacuated to safety from the Paddar area.

Police officials said the cloud burst took place at around 4.30 am on Wednesday, triggering flash floods in the village which is located on the banks of the stream.

The search and rescue operation for missing is underway.

Meanwhile, two cloudbursts hit Sangra and Khangral areas of Kargil in Ladakh on Tuesday evening, causing damage to a mini hydro power project. A dozen residential houses and standing crops have been destroyed. No loss of life was reported in the twin cloudbursts, officials told PTI.

In Himachal at least nine people were killed and seven reported missing following flash floods at two places in Himachal Pradesh in the past 24 hours, officials said on Wednesday.

Seven were washed away in a flash flood triggered by a cloudburst in the Tozing rivulet in Udaipur subdivision in Lahaul-Spiti district, two people were killed in Chamba district.

While in Kullu district, four people drowned in the swollen Parvati river in Manikaran.

Special Secretary, State Disaster Management Authority, Sudesh Mokhta told reporters that the search operation has been on to trace three missing from the flash flood in Lahaul-Spiti.

With the prediction of more rains till July-end, authorities have asked people living along water bodies and landslide-prone areas to remain vigilant.

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