Flood batters Madhya Pradesh; 8 killed, over 9,000 moved to relief camps
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday morning and had earlier spoken with defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday evening to convey them the flood situation in the state.Updated: Aug 30, 2020, 14:56 IST
At least eight people were killed and more than 9,000 have been moved to relief camps as hundreds of villages across 12 districts of Madhya Pradesh were affected by floods following incessant rains since Thursday. The state government had to seek the Indian Army’s help in the rescue operation.
Rains came to a halt on Sunday morning bringing respite to people and rescue teams in affected areas. However, as per the forecast, western MP which covers the Malwa region of the state may witness heavy rain on Sunday, the state government said.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday morning and had earlier spoken with defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday evening to convey them the flood situation in the state. Chouhan sought their help in rescue operations being carried on by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Home Guards, police and personnel of other departments.
Flood-hit districts of the state include Hoshangabad, Raisen, Sehore, Bhopal, Vidisha, Chhindwara, Balaghat, Seoni, Katni, Sagar, Shivpuri and Ujjain, as per official information.
Several villages in these districts were marooned due to flood water. A large number of people were airlifted with the help of Air Force helicopters, including 62 people from Somalwada village alone in Sehore district. Army personnel too have joined the rescue operations. In Sehore district, people were accommodated in boats which converted into relief camps in several villages, the officials said.
Talking to journalists on the rescue and relief operations on Sunday morning, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “the rescue operations have been continuing since Friday evening. There are 454 villages in 12 districts affected by the flood. As many as 9,300 people have been moved to 170 relief camps. About 1,200 people trapped in flood in 40 villages are yet to be rescued. Air Force personnel lifted several people from Hoshangabad, Chhindwara, Balaghat, Sehore and Raisen districts.”
The CM said, “I monitored the flood situation in the control room set up at my residence whole night along with all concerned authorities. The NDRF, SDRF, Home Guards and Police’s joint teams are carrying out excellent rescue operations. Two companies of the Army are reaching Sehore and Raisen districts. There is a sense of relief that there is no casualty among those who were trapped in flood. The eight who were killed were because of the collapse of mud walls or people crossing culverts submerged by floodwater while ignoring the warning.”
He said, “Gates of several dams, including Gandhisagar, Indira Sagar, Bargi, Tawa etc., were opened as the dams were overflowing. This also added to the increasing water level in various rivers but this was inevitable given the dams overflowing. Last year, a delay in the opening of gates of Gandhisangar dam had caused havoc in western Madhya Pradesh. Narmada, Pench and several other rivers were flowing much above danger mark causing floods in towns and villages. In Hoshangabad, Narmada river was flowing at 982 feet, 16 feet above the danger mark causing flood in a part of the city.”
Chouhan said, “Huge damage has been caused to standing crops too. A survey to assess the damage will be conducted after the situation becomes normal. The affected farmers will be provided relief under the crop insurance scheme and RBC (Revenue book circular) provisions.”
“I will conduct an aerial survey of the affected areas today. The health department has been instructed to be prepared to help people post-flood situation as after flood there is apprehension of diseases affecting people,” the chief minister added.
Four children, including a girl, belonging to three families were killed when a mud wall of a kutcha house collapsed on them at Banihara village of Dheemarkheda tehsil of Katni district on Saturday. The children were playing near the house when the incident took place, said sub-divisional magistrate Sapna Tripathi.
In Sehore district, a kutcha wall collapsed on Saturday night and four members were trapped under debris. Three of them were rescued while the remaining one couldn’t be saved, administrative officials said.
(With input from Mahendra Thakur in Sehore)