Fri, 23 Aug 2019

At least 24 people are feared dead after flash flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rain in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on July 15, according to local officials.

'At least 24 people were swept away and have gone missing,' said Saeedur Rehman Qureshi from the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) for Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

'We cannot declare the missing as dead at this point but have not found any of the missing persons so far,' he added.

He said five people were injured.

Both Pakistan and India control parts of Kashmir, divided by Line of Control (LoC). Both countries lay claim to the entire valley.

The flash flood occurred in Leswa town of Neelam Valley, a popular tourist destination near the LoC, early on July 15. More than 100 houses were damaged while a mosque was swept away, Qureshi said.

'The army is assisting the local administration in the rescue and recovery mission,' said Saqib Mumtaz, a spokesman for the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

With reporting by dpa and dawn.com

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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