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Food, medicines airdropped in flood-hit areas

Relief and rescue work move into top gear in the flood-hit districts as rain stops and receding waters allow authorities to airdrop food, medicines and other essentials in the affected areas, reports KS Tomar.
Hindustan Times | By KS Tomar, Jaipur
UPDATED ON JUL 09, 2007 07:52 PM IST

Relief and rescue work moved into top gear in the flood-hit districts of Rajasthan on Monday as rain stopped and receding waters allowed authorities to airdrop food, medicines and other essentials in areas that had remained cut off for days due to inundation.

At least three Indian Air Force helicopters were used to airdrop essential supplies in seven flood-affected villages including Bala and Holapurkhund in Jodhpur district that had been completely cut off from the rest of the state since Friday, Divisional Commissioner Kiran Soni Gupta told HT.

A 20-year old youth from Bala village, Sosa Ram, died of sickness as he could not be taken to a hospital. "My son complained of stomach pain but there was no way to take him to the hospital as our village had been surrounded by the water. Finally, he died," Sosa's father Ram Lal said.

"Our village is situated at a height therefore everyone survived. But it may take a few days for the situation to normalize, as the road is still under water," Lal said.

Barmer and Pali were among the other worst-affected districts where relief operations were intensified.

Fear of large scale flooding following breaches in the Jaswant Sagar also receded with the stoppage of rain.

Balu's ex-Sarpanch Kalu HT that a health worker, Amar Singh, had managed to reach the village two days back and was attending on several villagers suffering from seasonal diseases.

"I swam in the swirling flood waters and at times I was frightened but I successfully reached the village. I am attending on more than a dozen patients though scarcity of medicines is causing a problem."

Divisional commissioner Gupta said, "The Jaipur-Jodhpur highway has been opened to light vehicles and the situation is fast returning to normal."

More than 22 have people died in rain-related incidents across Rajasthan many parts of which, including Pali, Sirohi and Jodhpur districts, received 357 mm of rain, the highest in 24 years.

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