(MENAFN - Gulf Times) At least 24 people are feared dead due to flash flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rain in Pakistan-administered Kashmir yesterday, officials said.
'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 juncture, but have not found any of the missing so far, he added.
The flash flood caused damage to 150 houses, and one mosque collapsed.
The missing people included 11 from a proselytising party. The others were said to be locals.
Qureshi said that five people were injured in the incident.
The disputed Kashmir region is divided into two parts by a Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border.
Both Pakistan and India control parts of Kashmir, but lay claim to the entire valley.
The incident took place in Leswa town of Neelam valley, a famous tourist destination near the LoC, around 3am (2200 GMT on Sunday).
Rain-triggered flooding, landslides and lightning destroyed a small market in the town.
More than 100 houses were damaged while a mosque was swept away by the flash flood, 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).
The authority has issued a flood advisory from July 13-19 due to expected heavy rains and asked concerned authorities to take precautionary measures.
The floods usually hit South Asia in monsoon season, which begins from July and lasts until the end of August.