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Rajasthan flood toll touches 138

With the recovery of eight more bodies, the number of people dead in Barmer district alone has reached 103.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2006 22:19 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Eight more bodies were recovered from the worst-affected Barmer district taking the death count in Rajasthan's flash floods to 138 on Monday as Navy divers searched for the missing and relief work was on in full swing.

With the recovery of eight bodies, the number of people dead in Barmer district alone was 103 since the rains hit the arid region on August 18, state Relief Secretary RK Meena told a news conference in Jaipur.

He said Navy divers were searching for missing persons in Malwa village and Bayut block of the district, where communication links had totally snapped.

The overall death toll due to the floods had gone up to 138 and rescue operations were being done on a war footing, an official said.

Of the casualties, 103 were reported in Barmer, 10 in Pali,six in Udaipur,four each in Jalore and Rajsamand,three each in Chittorgarh and Sirohi,two each in Dungarpur and Banswara, andone in Jhalawar.

Around 45,000 head of cattle had also perished in the deluge, he said.

Described as one of the worst calamities to hit the state in decades, the floods were triggered by heavy rains in Barmer and adjoining districts of the desert fringe, which received more than the whole season's quota in just a few days.

The government had decided to depute five young IAS and eight Rajasthan Administrative Service officers in charge of the blocks to supervise long-term and sustainable rehabilitation in western Rajasthan especially Barmer, Meena said.

The Relief Secretary said the government had given details of the flood and rain-related deaths and fallout to Governor Pratibha Patil and a memorandum was being drafted for Central assistance.

He claimed none of the bodies recovered so far were unidentified. After post-mortem, the bodies were either handed over to their relatives or cremated, he said.

Gypsum and lignite deposits in the area were preventing water percolation and seepage and it was difficult to pump out the rain water from the sand dunes, he said.

About 20 sq km in Barmer close to the international border were submerged in 10-20 feet of flood water, Meena said.

First Published: Aug 28, 2006 18:53 IST