Leh flash floods: Widespread devastation, mounting losses

Ground Zero, Leh: On ground zero, it's a story of devastation, a capital otherwise brimming with tourists now a ghost town. Rescue operations continue 24 hours a day and for those who have survived, rescue personnel are taking care of their food, shelter and medical aid.

The outskirts of Leh town on the road leading to Manali has flattened houses and buried vehicles. The scene seems straight out of a disaster movie, but this is real life.

No one in Choglamsar village knows how many villagers have died or gone missing.

"My brother and his son were buried in this rubble, I survived because I was away," said Jigne Namgyal, resident, Choglamsar village.

Army jawans are trying to extricate bodies along with villagers down below, Army engineers and Border Road Workers (BRO) are busy rigging up a temporary link to restore at least a one-lane road.

"Our first priority was to save lives, then to restore the road communication, this entire road has been washed away. Within shortest possible time, we should be able to open this axis by tomorrow evening," said Brig SK Wadhwan, Chief Engineer, Project Himank, BRO.

As villagers tried to reach their homes across the cut off road, rescuers were racing against time to fill the breach in the road made by the gushing water from the top of the mountains. 
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