J&K floods: Will not move back till last man is brought to safety, says Army
Srinagar, Sept 8 (IBNS): With floods ravaging the state of Jammu and Kashmir and claiming over 150 lives, the Indian Army on Monday said the force will not move back to the barracks till the last man is brought to safety .
General Dalbir Singh, COAS said: "Indian Army will not move back to the barracks till the last man is brought to safety."
The Army informed that a total of 215 army columns are deployed in state of J&K and 23,000 people have been rescued.
Two thousand, of above were rescued by the Army from critical areas in Srinagar, namely Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Shivpura and Tent Pura on Sunday night. A total of 65 medical teams and 15 Engineer Task Forces(ETFs) are deployed and 16 relief camps have been set up by the Army.
The Army is continuing to providing relief materials. About 150 tons of rations, one lakh ‘Ready to Eat Meals’, four lakh liters of packed milk, 100 boats, 3000 tents, 50,000 liters of drinking water and 10,000 blankets are in process of being airlifted for relief effort.
The Army employed social media to accept distress messages on Facebook and twitter and further them to functionaries operating on ground. 7000 such distress messages have been relayed till now and many have resulted in rescue of marooned people.
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Monday said a total of 1737 personnel and 315.5 metric tonnes of relief material have been airlifted so far using 45 aircraft flying 186 sorties which include both the Fixed and Rotary wing types.
Transport aircraft have been supporting rescue operations operating from Bhatinda, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Jammu, Awantipur and Delhi. Whereas, Helicopters are operating from Srinagar, Awantipur, Udhampur, Jammur, Pathankot and Sarsawa.
Relief materials were airlifted on Monday to Srinagar, Jammu, Awantipur and other affected areas include blankets, tents, medical supplies, food and water.
Air Force helicopters with IAF Garud Commandos on board operating in the flood affected areas have so far winched up 321 victims and relocated them to safer areas.
In some cases the Garuds had to dismantle the roof and evacuate people trapped in the top floors of their houses. All efforts are being made to evacuate as many people as possible despite the inclement weather and limited resources, the IAF said.
This comes as a large part of Srinagar is submerged with people waiting on their rooftops. People have lost contact with their family members and relatives with phone lines being snapped due to the flood situation. There has been no electricity in many areas including Srinagar for hours.
Areas like Pulwama, Anantnag and Shopian in south and central Kashmir are completely cut off with roads and bridges swept away. Many vital installations like the army cantonment, civil Secretariat, the high court and many hospitals in Srinagar are currently hit by the flood situation.
The state government ordered all schools and colleges to remain closed till September 12. Many people are now living in relief camps and temporary shelters, sources said. People have taken refuge at hospitals and other high rise buildings to escape the rising water level.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced a special assistance of Rs. 1,000 crore for flood-affected Jammu and Kashmir. He said that Rs. 2 lakh compensation would be given to the kin of each dead and Rs. 50,000 each for those seriously injured owing to the crisis from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
The PM undertook an aerial survey of the flood-hit belts dubbing the situation as a “national level disaster”. He assured that medical and other assistance would be provided on an urgent basis.
Modi said the army, air force and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel were cooperating with the state government to expedite relief operation in the flood-affected areas.
According to reports, the waters from the swollen Jhelum inundated Srinagar completely turning the capital city into a giant lake.
Landslides triggered by incessant rain damaged roads, dozens of bridges, buildings and crops in the Jammu region causing disruption to vehicular movement on the Jammu-Pathankot highway. Katra-bound trains were halted. Haj flights scheduled up to September 12 had been postponed as well, official sources said.
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