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Flash Floods Kill 130 in Indian Kashmir


Rescue crews are battling deep mud and additional rain in the mountainous Ladakh region in an attempt to find dozens of people believed still missing

Authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir are stepping up rescue operations after flash floods killed at least 130 people and injured hundreds of others.

Rescue crews are battling deep mud and additional rain in the mountainous Ladakh region in an attempt to find dozens of people believed still missing.

An early Friday downpour triggered flooding as residents of the Himalayan region slept. Buildings, homes, power and telephone services collapsed as floodwaters carrying mud and debris ran down mountain slopes.

Reports say the airport in the main city of Leh re-opened Saturday to transport relief supplies Saturday, but many roads are washed out. With the civilian hospital damaged, doctors and patients have moved operations to a nearby army hospital.

At least 2,000 displaced people have been housed in government shelters.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday expressed grief for the loss of life and pledged federal aid to the Jammu and Kashmir state government.

Ladakh is a high-altitude desert about 3,500 meters above sea level and normally experiences very low precipitation. It is a popular destination for Western tourists and backpackers.

The Indian army has a large presence in the largely-Buddhist area, which shares borders with China.

Kashmir's deluge happened as neighboring Pakistan suffered from its worst flooding in decades.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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