B. Hasbin Khaleel
Agence India Press
Leh: On the occasion of the first year after the unfortunate cloudburst in Leh, the surviving victims remember the dreadful night that changed their lives forever and search for ways and means to move ahead.
The natural disaster on night of August 6, claimed lives of more than 190 persons and rendered thousands homeless.
Psychological trauma of struggling to save homes and hearths had taken a toll on the peaceful population of Ladakh and many are yet to come out of horror they faced on the intervening night of 5-6 August 2010.
According to official records, 158 families have been rehabilitated with new houses and basic amenities to begin life anew.
665 houses were completely destroyed and victims were promised rupees two lakh from the Prime Minister’s Fund while rupees one lakh was promised to the ones, who suffered partial destruction of their humble abodes.
Meanwhile, residents of Saboo village, which was the epicenter of flash floods, expressed their gratitude towards the government and other agencies for rendering help to build their homes within a year.
Tsering Uru, Headman of Saboo village told Agence India Press that day on intervening night of August 05-06, when thunder struck, the sound was really loud like an explosion. I am 65 years old and for the first time witnessed such a heavy downpour in a short span of time.
Konchok Dolma sews clothes and does odd jobs at a beauty parlour near her village.
She has stopped visiting the old shop because it reminds her of a life, which she feels holds no meaning after the disaster of 2010 in which she lost one of her two children.
Dolma’s 17-year-old daughter was washed away in floods right before her eyes and now she struggles to cope up with sleepless nights as she holds back her tears.
“Both my children were good at school but my elder child got swept away with the floods. I have to keep my strength for the younger child, who survived the floods,” said Konchok Dolma.
As for their Medicare and counseling, they depend on periodical health camps run by the doctors and personnel of Army and the para-military ITBP, who were at forefront of the rescue operations.
The aftermath has brought medical complications like depression, body pain and insomnia affecting especially women and children.
Flashfloods and mudslides swept the road links and bridges in the area.
The deluge damaged hospitals, schools, government buildings, bus terminals, radio station transmitter, and telephone exchange and mobile-phone towers.
The August 6 flashfloods triggered by a cloudburst devastated large parts of Ladakh claimed lives of hundreds including 35 army men, 18 Nepalese and Tibetan workers, three French, one Spanish and one Italian tourist.
Five villages, Saboo, Phyang, Nimoo, Choglamsar and Shapoo were the worst hit.
The city of Old Leh was also among the worst affected. (AIP)
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