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Leh: Jittery locals prefer hills to hospitals

August 09, 2010 18:34 IST

The fury of nature which was unleashed on the villages in Leh in the form of cloudburst and flash floods has been etched in the minds of locals who are reluctant to stay in makeshift hospitals set up by relief agencies in the night and feel safer in higher reaches.

Some villagers who are undergoing treatment at these hospitals stay there during the day but as evening approaches they remove intravenous drips of their relatives and take them to higher reaches despite requests by paramedics not to do so.

"The psychological impact of these floods is too much on these locals. Despite best of our efforts, they are not getting convinced to stay in the relief camps during night. "They prefer higher hills to spend the night. They also take their near and dear ones who are under treatment at these hospitals," a medic with Jammu and Kashmir Police said.

The 'cold desert' where rains are a rarity, saw heavy downpour on Friday night which triggered massive floods carrying tonnes of mud with it, washing away villages, including worst-hit Choglusmar and killing 147 people so far. This was followed by another cloudburst and flash floods in village Wado in Kargil district of Ladakh region causing massive damage.

The cloudburst flooded Brok Lungba stream as a result of which the water entered Wado village during the night causing extensive damage to standing crops, trees, residential houses, shops and hotels, police said.

The fact that rains and floods came during night at both the places is still there in the minds of locals who feel that the disaster can again strike in the night.

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