J-K flood fury toll mounts to 116
At least 28 people lost their lives on Saturday as the death toll in the worst flood to hit Jammu and Kashmir in the last 50 years mounted to 116, while Army rescued 11,000 people to safety.india Updated: Sep 07, 2014 07:58 IST
At least 28 people on Saturday lost their lives as the death toll in the worst flood to hit Jammu and Kashmir in the last 50 years mounted to 116, while Army rescued 11,000 people to safety.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh along with Union minister Jitendra Singh reviewed the situation in the state and assured the Omar Abdullah government of full support on all aspects of relief.
As many as 28 people have died in the Jammu region, state officials said adding, of these 14 people died in Udhampur districts in incidents of house collapses, three in Reasi district, one in Doda district.
Ten bodies of the bus passengers were recovered on Saturday in Rajouri. The bus carrying 63 passengers was washed away in flash-flood in Rajouri on Thursday.
With today's recovery the number of total bodies recovered has gone up to 35.
Cong leader Ghulam Nabi Azad talks to PM, wants J&K floods to be declared a �National Calamity�.— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 6, 2014
With this, the total deaths in Jammu region gone up to 106, while ten people have died in Kashmir Valley.
"Over 107 people have died in Jammu and Kashmir due to flash-floods, landslides and house collapses," Rajnath told reporters in Jammu after the visit.
"The situation is critical. We have watched the scene of destruction," he said.
As many as 2,500 villages have been affected by the floods and 450 villages have marooned, Rajnath said, adding, a large number of houses have been destroyed and road and bridges damaged.
He said that 8 teams of NDRF and 6 helicopters of IAF have been pressed in rescue and relief operations and they are doing a commendable job.
The home minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his sympathy with the people here and announced that Rs. 2 lakh ex-gratia will be given to next of kin of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 to the injured.
Video: Worst floods in J&K since 1959, over 100 killed
Rajnath said the state has Rs. 1,100 crore of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). "We have asked them to spent the amount to carry out the relief operations." The government should prepare the memo about relief, and an Inter-Ministerial team will be sent to finalise the relief amount, he said.
Asserting that the Centre has assured full support, Chief minister Omar Abdullah told reporters in Jammu that air-lifting of marooned people may begin on Sunday if weather improves even as South Kashmir remains completely cut-off.
Members of a Kashmiri family wade through a waterlogged street in Srinagar's Bemina area. (PTI Photo)
Omar, who made aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of Jammu and reviewed the situation, said, "we have not been able to touch South Kashmir." "One NDRF battalion has been air-dropped at Awantipur airport because we could not transport them from Srinagar. So, we are trying to send them to affected areas. Two more battalions have been sent to Pulwama." Omar said that if weather improves, Army has assured to airlift boats to South Kashmir, "where we have failed to reach."
Emphasising that the state administrative machinery had swung into action soon after getting warning from the meteorological department, the chief minister said the magnitude of the calamity was such that the efforts were not proving sufficient.
Chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah inspecting rescue operations at Newa Khanda in the aftermath of a flood caused due to incessant rains. (PTI Photo)
"We just need one break of weather. Our helicopters are on standby at Jammu and Srinagar. As soon as we get that break from bad weather, we will start air-lifting people and provide them with relief material," he said.
Omar said he has been assured of full support by the Centre. "The Union home minister has told me to prepare a memo about relief and submit it to the Centre," he said adding that they would send an inter-ministerial team, which would assess the situation.
Several rivers have been flowing above the danger mark and most parts of south Kashmir, including Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam districts have been submerged.
In Jammu city, a part of a bridge was washed away and four bridges were closed for traffic as a precautionary measure in view of the Tawi river flowing much above danger mark.