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19 feared dead in Rajasthan, J-K and MP floods

However, the situation limps towards normalcy in Orissa and West Bengal, officials on Sunday said.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 09, 2007 12:56 AM IST

At least 19 people are feared to have been killed in flood-related incidents in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir even as the situation limped towards normalcy in Orissa and West Bengal, officials on Sunday said.

Eight persons were feared drowned as the jeep in which they were travelling was swept away by the swollen Denva river near Matkuli in Madhya Pradesh, police said.

Two of the 10 passengers managed to reach the shore, while the fate of remaining eight was unknown. A vehicle, carrying 30 people, was washed away by turbulent waters after it fell into the overflowing Gadhahed river near Ghatoli in Rajasthan on Saturday. Twenty-two people managed to swim to the safer but the eight are feared to have killed, SP (Jhalawar) Rakesh Saxena said.

On the other hand, lakhs of people in 39 villages affected by leakage from the Jaswant Sagar dam in the state heaved a sigh of relief as the water level receded.

In Jammu, three people, including two children, were washed away and over 100 structures damaged by flash floods triggered by heavy rains on Sunday, leading to protests by locals against the "failure" of the district administration to provide them immediate help.

Overnight rainfall triggered flash floods in a river in Sheikhpora area of Bahu Fort locality, damaging 10 houses and 90 shanties, officials said.

Heavy rains continued to pound Madhya Pradesh, disrupting rail and road traffic and throwing life out of gear as swollen rivers and rain water submerged many areas in nearly a dozen districts. However, the scene improved in West Bengal and Orissa.

In Madhya Pradesh, the flood-like scene was reviewed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who directed officials to ensure proper relief and rehabilitation to the people. Rail and road traffic were affected by the rains in the state.

The situation in the southern districts of West Bengal was marginally better even as the death toll in flood related incidents touched 33.

Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta said as the affected districts experienced little rains and the main rivers passing through the districts were not rising any further, the situation in East and West Midnapore, Hooghly and Howrah saw marginal improvement.

At least 47 lakh people have also been affected in the state with over 51,000 people staying in 361 shelters opened by the administration.

In Kolkata, large parts of the city were submerged due to heavy rains since last Tuesday. But the water has receded except for some areas in Behala in the south-western fringes.

The scene in flood-hit Balasore and Bhadrak districts of Orissa improved a little on Sunday after the turbulent Subarnarekha and Baitarani rivers showed a receding trend and relief measures were intensified. Officials put the number of affected persons at over seven lakh.

Seven people were reported to be missing in Balasore district while two others could not be traced in Bhadrak, sources said.

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