Army intensifies relief operation in Kashmir valley; marines help in rescue; situation still acute
The flood situation remains very acute in Kashmir Valley as Srinagar has transformed into a huge lake with water in many areas at 10 to 15 feets submerging many residential colonies in the city. The telecom system in the valley has been uprooted, and the power remains cutoff even as army, paramilitary forces, and the National Disaster Response Force carry out massive relief and rescue operations.
One positive has been that rain has subsided in Srinagar, and other parts of the valley which helped the water level to go down a bit in Jehlum but the water has been reported to be rising in Dal Lake. Authorities warn that flood situation is very acute in Srinagar city, and it would need a massive effort to help save the situation. Dozens of boats deployed in Srinagar have helped the residents to escape the rising waters, though there are large number of people still waiting to be rescued. The only hope for many would be to let the flood waters subside, and to survive on government help for next couple of days.
IAF helicopters have been distributing relief in several parts of Srinagar city, and rural areas. In fact the army in Srinagar was also badly hit by the floods as 1400 army personnel, and there families had to be rescued from Badamibagh cantonment. The army cantt. as well as adjoining colonies of Shivpora and Indranagar were submerged due to a breach in Jehlum river. The heavy flood caused by torrential rains has also disrupted the telecom network in the valley. The BSNL along with the security forces is trying to restart the mobile services by setting up a satellite network in the city. The authorities are now planning to deploy heavy duty pumps to drain water out of the low-lying areas in Srinagar city.
To augment the efforts by Indian army, and the NDRF the security forces, the Indian marine commandos who have been deployed in Kashmir have joined the rescue operations . It was the marines from naby who carried out a difficult operation in surging waters in Haigaon on Srinagar-Sopore highway to rescue 200 people who were stranded there. Naval teams have also been put on a standby in New Delhi and Mumbai to join the rescue if need arises.
More than 20,000 people in flooded areas have been rescued in the state by the army which has deployed 205 columns for these operations. 5000 blankets, huge amount of potable water, and food material has been distributed as relief. Large number of medical team have also been deployed in the state which are helping the people in affected areas.
With situation serious in Srinagar, the army officials said that intensive operations have been carried out in the city as people wait on their roof tops for evacuation. At many places the high water level has ensured that there could be no rescue by road and aircrafts could only be used.
The only good news for the people in the state is that the Met department has said that there would be no rains for the next three to five days. While the sky will remain cloudy but there would not be much rain thus giving a good chance to carry out rescue and relief operations to the people in Kashmir, as well as in Jammu and other part of the state.
Meanwhile, the Indian Air-force choppers are also helping people from Jammu, and other parts of the country who have been stranded in Valley to get back to their homes in this hour of crisis. Around 200 personnel mostly from Jammu region have been brought back from the valley.
In Jammu province the flood caused by torrential rains has caused devastation particularly in Rajouri, Poonch and Jammu. In Rajouri 358 villages have been badly affected by the floods whereas 80 villages in Jammu district were affected. Around 1000 houses in Jammu were completed desptroyed, and more than 1000 suffering partial damage.
Government buildings in Jammu were also damaged but maximum damage in the province occured in Poonch district where 180 illages were severly affected, roads, and powerlines damaged, and life being affected very badly. Around 500 houses were fully damaged, 1000 houses partially damaged in Poonch while a number of government buildings have been hit.
Government officials have further revealed that 147 bodies have been recovered, and 70 people are still missing in Jammu region. Although they are feared dead but confirmation has been made as their bodies have not been recovered so far.