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Death toll in J&K mounts to 160, rivers submerge more villages

by malnadnews 7-09-2014


There was no let-up in the flood fury in Jammu and Kashmir with incessant rains feeding the already overflowing rivers and streams and pushing up the death toll to 160.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the State on Sunday.

The rivers Jhelum in Kashmir and Tawi in the Jammu region continued to flow far above the danger mark, swallowing houses along the embankments and submerging more villages and towns.

Authorities struggled to rescue thousands of trapped villagers as rain continued to lash the state and officials ran out of boats to reach the marooned. At least nine Army personnel, including an officer, got trapped in the strong currents of Jhelum as their boat capsized during a rescue operation in Pulwama district. Seven were later rescued.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Srinagar on Saturday and later conducted an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu.

He said the worst floods in six decades had affected 2,600 villages, 1,600 in Kashmir and the rest in Jammu, with 450 completely submerged.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said South Kashmir was inaccessible with rescuers unable to reach the affected villages because of torrential rains.

“We are waiting for a break in the weather,” he said.

Mr. Abdullah briefed Mr. Singh at the Srinagar airport and later himself drove the Home Minister through the waterlogged roads of the city.

Revenue and Relief Secretary Vinod Koul said 50 bridges were damaged and hundreds of kilometres of roads were washed away.

Power installations units had broken down and the state urgently needed 25,000 tents and 40,000 blankets, Mr. Koul said.

Large parts of Srinagar went without power on Saturday. There was no water supply, too, and residents said they had run out of drinking water.

There were no reports so far of food and essential commodities running out, with people stocking up for the worst.

The city resembled a ghost town with schools, colleges, shops and offices shut. Most of the people were moving their belongings to the second floor as flood waters had entered their homes.

Despite the best efforts of the Army, the National Disaster Response Force and the authorities, many complained that they were left to fend for themselves with no help from the government. THE HINDU

“No one is coming to help us. Yesterday the CM came and assured us that the Government would provide us blankets and food but nothing has come yet. Our children are starving,” Nazir Ahmad said.

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