Dozens of vehicles were damaged and swathes of paddy fields destroyed by flash floods caused by sudden cloudbursts on Wednesday evening in some village of Leh district. Police said that many houses, irrigation canals and roads came under the impact in Stakna village as the cloudburst hit the area first.
It was followed by flash floods that wreaked havoc in Stakmo, Shey and Saboo villages. Although locals helped the trapped people save their lives, many of the villagers were injured as the flash floods brought with them boulders.
According to a senior police officer, the entire Leh administration was busy in clearing the debris from the link road which goes up to Choglamsar. He said that the officials were inspecting the damaged fields and irrigation canals, which would be restored very soon. The official said that the flash floods brought with them lot of mud and boulders and they are the real cause of damage in the area.
Reports from Leh said that the Central government has assured all the assistance needed for damage control. Teams of officials from the different wings of the government, including from State Disaster Management Department, are camping in the affected villages and carrying out relief and rehabilitation operations.
People in Saboo village are still in shock as it was the same village which suffered many human casualties during the 2010 flash floods. More than 100 people had been killed and over 400 were injured when flash floods were triggered by heavy rains in Leh town. Many buildings and houses were also wiped out causing a lot of casualties and injuries.
Environmentalists and nature lovers have been warning of human greed eating up the Ladakh region. Groundwater levels have already receded in Leh town and there have been alarm bells ringing about the flash floods and cloudbursts in the region.
Many experts from Ladakh had warned of the recurrence of such flash floods, while talking to The Sunday Guardian when this newspaper had published a report at the start of the tourist season this year about climate change and its effect on receding of glaciers and the impact on Leh town. There has been a huge tourist footfall in the entire Ladakh region especially to the Pangong Tso Lake and Khardung La.