The Army on Saturday began rescue and relief operations in flood-hit Chhattisgarh's southern Dantewada district to supply food to 100,000 tribals and airlift over 6,000 people to safer places.
Incessant rains for the past three days have submerged around 60 villages and the three rivers of the district - Indravati, Sabri and Sankhani - are in spate.
According to district authorities, thousands of people are stranded as rainwater has inundated villages and in some areas people climbed on to rooftops of government buildings and schools and were crying out for help. However, the administration could not launch rescue operations due to the continuous heavy rains. In the interior areas of the district, people took to climbing treetops to save themselves.
"Luckily, the Army has reached with two planes from Uttar Pradesh and has begun relief and rescue operations on Saturday morning. At least 100,000 people have been marooned in the district," Dantewada district collector KR Pisda said.
Pisda said he did not have exact information about flood-related deaths but added: "Definitely dozens of people are missing but the exact loss to life and property would be known when officials would be able to reach the worst-hit interior areas."
The Indravati is in spate in the Bijapur and Bhopalpattanam areas where 32 villages have been submerged and the Jagdalpur-Bhopalpatnam National Highway 16 has been closed.
While in Konta block, which is close to the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa border, the Sabri has created havoc in 12 villages and flooded the Jagdalpur-Konta National Highway 221.
"Nearly 100,000 people of Dantewada district have been affected by the flash floods. The marooned people have not received any food and drinking water for past three days and the district received nine inches of rainfall on Friday alone," said a relief department official.
Chief Minister Raman Singh held a high-level emergency meeting of senior district officials and people's representatives late on Friday to chalk out a plan for launching rescue and relief operations.