Thursday, August 12, 2010

47 die, 76 hurt as flash flood hits Gaise

GILGIT: A landslide triggered by lightning struck a remote village Gaise in district Diamer late Tuesday night, killing at least 47 people and wounding another 76, mostly women and children, residents said on Wednesday.

“Amid heavy downpour, there was a deafening bang. And soon after gigantic boulders came rolling down the nearby mountains, crushing everything that came their way,” a resident of the village told media.

The Gaise village is already cut off from the rest of the country as floods have destroyed infrastructure, including roads and bridges. The deluge has also affected the local agro-based economy as fruit orchards have been destroyed and hundreds of goats and sheep swept away by the strong current.

Officials in the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) say that the injured were being airlifted by army helicopters to Gilgit for treatment. The NDMA has put the death toll at 40.

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