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Jammu: The toll in the Jammu floods due to incessant downpour for the last five days has risen to 120 following the death of 14 people in a landslide. The Met Office Saturday said the “worst is over”.
Fourteen people died Friday in Thanamandi area of Rajouri district when a landslide buried them, officials said.
While 14 bodies have been recovered, many more are feared trapped, officials told IANS here.
More than 2,000 marooned people have been rescued by the security forces in the past five days.
The weather office forecast more rainfall across Jammu and Kashmir Saturday, but it also said the the overall weather condition will improve from Sunday.
“From tomorrow (Sunday) onwards, Jammu and Kashmir will have clear weather for the next one week. As the system has already started weakening, we can safely say the worst is over,” Sonam Lotus, director of the Met Office, told IANS.
NEW DELHI/JAMMU/SRINAGAR: Seventy boats and five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been sent to Jammu & Kashmir for the rescue and relief of flood-affected people.
The decision was taken by home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday after reviewing the flood situation in the state. Singh ordered that the boats be despatched on Sunday itself for use in rescue operations, a home ministry official said.
Control rooms are being set up at Srinagar, Jammu and New Delhi to monitor and coordinate the rescue and relief operations.
The telephone numbers of the control rooms are: New Delhi Jammu & Kashmir House 011-24611210, 24611108; Srinagar 0194-2452138; and Jammu 0191-2560401.
Anybody seeking assistance pertaining to the flood crisis in J&K may also approach home ministry’s control room in New Delhi, the telephone numbers for which are: (011) 23093054, 23092763, 23093564, 23092923, 23092885, 23093566, 23093563.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi doing an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of J&K on Sept 7, 2014. (PTI photo)
The home minister also instructed that five teams of NDRF be sent immediately to the flood-affected areas of the state. Singh has also appealed to all social organisations and NGOs to mobilize their resources to bolster the rescue efforts.
IAF airlifts 180 jawans from flood-hit border posts
The Indian Air Force on Sunday airlifted 180 jawans who were posted at various border area posts along flood-affected India-Pakistan border in Jammu sector.
A total of over 180 BSF and Army jawans were evacuated from various border-area posts in Jammu sector today, air officer commanding (AoC), Jammu IAF station, Air Commodore PE Patange told reporters here.
Of these, over 80 BSF jawans and over 100 Army jawans have been airlifted from flood-trapped areas, he said.
Most of the border belts have been flooded causing threat to posts and jawans their.
An Indian Air Force M-17 chopper is seen in a rescue operation in Jammu’s Harimpur Kona.
Floods have badly hit security infrastructure along India-Pakistan border including border outposts (BoPs) and fencing as choppers of Indian Air Force (IAF) and Army Aviation Corps on Saturday airlifted 108 BSF and Army men from forward areas.
IAF’s Condors in Jammu also reached out to trapped people in flash-floods in Jammu and evacuated 627 people by braving adverse weather conditions and poor visibility.
Floods have inundated most the stretches of border fencing and trapped BSF jawans in BoPs and also Army jawans in forward posts along international border in Jammu and Samba sectors.
“The rescue and relief operation has been intensified in view of the betterment of the weather. It will continue till all people trapped in floods are rescued,” the AoC said.
He said that our priority is to save the lives first besides carrying out airdropping of ration, medicines to the trapped people.
PM Modi announces special assistance, offers help to Pakistan
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a special assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for the flood-hit Jammu & Kashmir besides a Rs 2 lakh compensation from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the kin of the dead and Rs 50,000 for those seriously injured.
Modi, who took an aerial view of the flood-affected Jammu and Srinagar regions, said the current crisis was a “national level disaster”.
He assured the people of the state that they were not alone in this crisis.
Villagers look on at a missing section of a bridge across the overflowing Tawi river that was swept away as flooding continues in the Mandal area of Jammu on September 6, 2014. (AFP photo)
“I would like to assure the people of the state that it is not their crisis alone. It is a crisis for the whole country,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister also offered to extend all possible help to the flood-affected people in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
“India will never hesitate from doing work of humanity,” Modi said, adding the government was prepared to help the people of Pakistan-administered Kashmir in every capacity.
Flood fury on Sunday maintained its grip over Jammu and Kashmir, leaving 138 dead and many marooned as the swirling waters inundated the Army cantonment, civil secretariat and the high Court in Srinagar and snapped road and communication links.