This morning's SF Chronicle headline: Deluge in desert engulfs tourist spot, killing 112.
A cloudburst followed by flash flood hit a Himalayan desert region in Indian-controlled Kashmir, sending rivers of mud down mountainsides and killing at least 12 people, officials said today.
Nearly 2000 foreign tourist were in the remote area of Ladakh, a popular destination for adventure sports enthusiasts, when the calamity struck, . . . there were no immediate reports of any foreigners being killed or injured in the floods that started early Friday. . . . At least 400 people were injured, as gushing waters swept away housing, cars and buses in a 60-square-mile swath in and around Leh, the main town in Ladakh.
The airport in Leh was hit, most communications were cut and Leh's state-run civil hospital was damaged as torrents of water flooded large parts of the town. . . . Ladakh, about 260 miles east of Srinagar . . . is a high altitude desert, with a stark moonscape-like terrain, about 11,500 feet above sea level.
The main highway linking Leh to the nearby holiday resort of Manali was blocked by landslides. The only other highway linking Ladakh was partially open and vericles waiting to cross had backed up for miles. Poor weather has made it impossible for even helicopters to fly into Ladakh with relief supplies.