Thirty-eight bodies recovered from debris in GB8 August 2010
SKARDU / GILGIT: Rescue teams retrieved 38 bodies on Sunday from the debris of houses hit by landslides and floods as rains continued to lash Gilgit-Baltistan. The deputy commissioners of Skardu and Ghanche told Dawn that 54 people had been killed when floods and landslides hit two villages on Friday night. Skardu Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Ali Yougi said 18 bodies were retrieved in Qumrah village on Sunday, while nine others had been recovered on Saturday. Ghanche Deputy Commissioner Syed Hadi said one body was recovered in Talis village, adding that six people were missing. He said rains had destroyed 25 houses and damaged 125 houses and two mosques in Talis. Damage to bridges, crops and orchards was also reported in Talis, Doghoni, Balghar and Thaley villages. In Khaplu, a flood in a stream in Farano village coupled with rain destroyed 14 houses and damaged 17 others. Mud and stone brought by the floods also damaged a mosque and washed away four bridges. 'The villagers have left their houses,' sources said. In Kharmang valley, a teacher was swept away while collecting firewood from the river. Punda village in Mehdiabad has been cut off from other areas because chairlift has been washed away. The district administration has evacuated the Rama Tolti village. Twenty-five houses and a petrol pump were inundated when the level of the Indus rose at Hoto village in Skardu district. Road link between Skardu and Kachura was disrupted. Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah met the relatives of the victims in Qumrah. The deputy commissioner said waves in the river were turbulent and bodies, animals and other material were flowing in it. Officials in Gilgit said floods had damaged the historic Partab bridge in Bunji, Khybar bridge in Hunza and the main bridge of Nasirabad in Hunza.