They were separated by 400 metres, but the man couldn’t do anything to rescue his family of eight – five women, two boys and a girl – as death seemed imminent for them with flood waters rising sharply.
The man had taken shelter at a nearby government school, on a mound, when water levels began to rise around Sunday midnight, but the family didn’t go with him.
It was not long before the water current turned so strong that their house in Bhadwi village of Jalore district became out of human approach. Acting swiftly, the Jalore district administration requisitioned helicopters to rescue the family.
The state government rushed an IAF chopper to Jalore, but it couldn’t reach the spot due to bad weather. A second chopper was sent after some time. “The second chopper hovered over the house as the women waived a red cloth. I went down a rope to the house to bring the shivering, frightened women out. The chopper made two rounds to rescue the family,” a senior official of the administration said, requesting anonymity.
It was still raining when the chopper rescued the family, the official added. “If we didn’t rescue them for another half an hour, we would have lost them,” said the official. Jalore collector Jitendra Soni said the administration, with the help of swimmers from the army and the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC), rescued 53 others from different parts of the district.
“The situation in the district is under control. There have been no deaths due to rains here,” he added. Soni said two trains – Jodhpur-Gandhidham express and Jodhpur-Bhiladi passenger train – with about 1,000 passengers on board were also caught in the rain water as railway tracks got flooded.
“We sent the passengers to their destinations by road after providing them food and water,” he said. According to officials, IAF helicopters rescued a total of 10 people from Jalore district on Monday – eight from Bhadwi village and two from Nora village.
“The situation is under control and no death due to floods has been reported,” a district official said, adding that schools till class 8 have been closed as a precautionary measure.