More reports on: Environment

J&K flood toll now over 200; light rain may aid SAR ops

09 September 2014

The death toll in the Jammu & Kashmir floods crossed 200 today, even as massive rescue operations continued in order to rescue the thousands of people still stranded or killed by the worst floods in the state in the last 60 years.

In the flood-hit areas of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday even as the death toll crossed 200 in the worst floods that the state has seen in the last 60 years.

The United Nations (UN) has offered to help both India and Pakistan in their rescue and relief efforts for the hundreds of thousands affected, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told in New York.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today became the first state chief minister to announce aid of Rs10 crore from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund to help the state through the crisis.

Critics accuse the CM of having made a purely political gesture, as there would be few visitors from the state during a Kashmiri monsoon; and moreover the amount could have been spent in giving relief to the drought-prone areas of the state.

The Indian Air Force meanwhile has deployed over 40 aircraft and helicopters including 12 AN-32s, four IL-76s, five C-130Js and two C-17 transport aircraft to help in the rescue work.

The Indian Army has rescued over 22,000 people from the state. However, thousands of people continue to be stranded.

The Jammu-Srinagar highway has been cut off after extensive damage, making it difficult for the 1,500 trucks carrying essential supplies to reach the stranded people.

Landslides in Jammu's Udhampur district have left seven people dead and over 40 still trapped. A team of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) is being rushed to the site.

The Army is focusing on evacuating people from Srinagar, where internet, electricity and phones are virtually non-existent.

Most of the residential and commercial areas of the city have been submerged in flood water.

30 sorties of IL-76 and AN 32 have been undertaken to Srinagar overnight to carry men and relief material, boats cutters and other equipment besides huge quantity of medicines and water bottles.

Television and radio stations have been cut off, and mobile towers are damaged as well.

Around 30 boats have reached the state capital today from Tamil Nadu and efforts are being made to restore communication lines.

The rising water levels have flooded areas including Lal Chowk, Army cantonment, Civil Secretariat and roads including airport road, Exhibition Crossing, Hari Singh High Street, Lal Chowk and Regal Chowk are submerged under several feet of water.

(See: J&K rescue operations in full swing as flood toll touches 175)

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