Survivors recount the Leh devastation

Leh: Bulat Kumar is still haunted by the trauma of the night when Leh was hit by a flash flood caused by a cloudburst. A labourer from Bihar, he was asleep in his tent with nine relatives when the floods hit Leh.

All of them were washed away; he's the only one who survived and doesn't know if his family in a Bihar village even knows about the tragedy.

"We were 10 in the room. I was the first to be washed away. I didn't know what was going on. Others have died. Seven bodies were recovered yesterday, but two are still missing," Bulat said.

For another labourer, Hari Shanker, the priority now is to cremate relatives he has lost.

"We want help. We want firewood for cremation. The government should do something at least'," he said.

That night, as the water rushed into his house, Namgiyal had climbed on to the roof of his house. Three days later, he still doesn't know if the rest of his family has survived.

"Everything is destroyed. I think no one survived. Floods washed away the foundation of the house," he said.

The magnitude of devastation caused by flash floods is now unfolding. There are miseries. There are human stories - of people who have been killed and the people who have been injured. And anyone who has been injured in floods doesn't know what has happen to his family.

As more bodies are dug out, identifying them is becoming difficult. Many of the dead are migrant labourers; some are believed to be tourists. So far, only half the bodies found have been identified.
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