At least 24 people are missing and feared dead after a flood tore into a village in Muzaffarabad's Wadi Neelum Sunday night.
There are reports of major damage in the Leswa village, at at least 50 houses being destroyed. According to Muzaffarabad Commissioner Chaudhry Imtiaz, the army, district administration, police, residents of the area and KP Disaster Management Authority are all participating in rescue efforts. The deputy commissioner is overseeing the operation.
Temporary camps are being set up to house the displaced people and food and non-food items are being gathered. Most of the missing people are from the Tableeghi Jamaat and had been living at a mosque. Locals who went to rescue them are also feared dead.
No bodies have been found yet but officials say the chances of anyone being found alive are slim to none. Telephone lines are down and roads leading to the village are blocked. Rescue officials are trying to get past the roadblocks to the village but it's difficult.
Right now, they need heavy machinery to clear the road but the remote location of the site is making that difficult. SAMAA TV's correspondent in the area says the army's help will be crucial in rescue efforts as they are the only ones in the area. The police and other officials are all coming from other areas.
Commissioner Imtiaz said there was no time for an alert to be issued. They had forecasts of rain in the area and Kashmir but the onset of the flood was too sudden to do anything. He said it was due to a cloud burst.
In the rest of Muzaffarabad, people living along the Neelum River have begun looking for victims' bodies.
Army rescues 52 stranded people
Army troops are assisting civil administration in rescue and relief of affected population due to landslides near Laswa village and flooding in Neelum-Jhelum River near Nauseri area.
The Inter-Services Public Relations said that 52 stranded individuals had been evacuated to safer places via helicopters. Relief camps have been set up in the flood-hit areas.
The ISPR said the relief effort also included provision of food, rations and medical care to affectees.
A search for missing individuals was also on, it added.