Flood waters receding, lakhs still await help

Flood waters receding, lakhs still await helpSRINAGAR: Flood waters receded further in Kashmir Valley today enabling rescue teams to evacuate another 2000 stranded people and provide crucial supplies for people desperately waiting for help in submerged areas.

Military teams continued rescue efforts overnight, evacuating 807 people from Srinagar alone.

A total of 82,000 people have been pulled out in a continuing multi-agency mammoth operation even as an estimated five to six lakh people still waited for help after floods ravaged Jammu and Kashmir.

Food and other relief material was also provided for those stranded, officials said, adding that a total of 807 tonne relief material has been dispatched so far.

“The situation has improved quite significantly in all areas of west Srinagar. In Srinagar, the water level has gone down from its peak level by about six feet but there is still substantive flooding in certain areas within the town itself,” Lt Gen D S Hooda said.

“In south Kashmir, the water has receded up to Awantipora.
So roads are a little better in that area. So there is no crisis. We are still looking at rescue efforts which are going on in Srinagar town and that continues unabated,” he said.

With many people reluctant to leave their homes, the Army will be concentrating on providing them food and water.

“What we are seeing now is that water level is going down in certain areas but people are reluctant to leave their houses and therefore from today and tomorrow what we are going to focus is apart from rescue operations from some areas, we are also going to be sending food, water etc. and some medical supplies to people who want to stay at home,” the senior Army officer said. . LT Gen Subrata Saha also stated that some people were reluctant to leave their homes.

“Over a period of time we are noticing a cycle. In that people are getting evacuated in the morning and some are getting back to their homes in the afternoon and this is pretty understandable because they want to go back and look after their stuff. They want to get food and supplies and get back to their houses,”

He said there was a bit of inundation in North Kashmir, also and 1171 have been evacuated.

“In south Kashmir, I am happy to tell you that the evacuation process is virtually zero,” he said.

Hectic efforts were also underway to gradually restore the snapped telecom links which had hampered rescue work.

Transport aircraft and helicopters of IAF and Army Aviation Corps were carrying out non-stop rescue and relief operations while Army has deployed one lakh troops.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams also scaled up their rescue efforts.

The floods, which were stated to be the worst in 109 years after rains pummeled the state on September 2, have left nearly 200 dead.–PTI

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