Kashmir flood waters recede

Soldiers rescue a woman trapped in flood hit Jammu and Kashmir
Soldiers rescue a woman trapped in flood hit Jammu and Kashmir

More than 50,000 people have been rescued so far, but hundreds are still trapped here as the flood waters receded Wednesday. Officials said 215 people have died in the Jammu and Kashmir floods.

“Unless the flood waters recede completely, and we are able to reach all the submerged areas, we cannot be sure about the exact toll in these floods,” a top state official said.

Many are trapped in the Srinagar city alone that submerged in flood waters during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.

Officials said 50,000 marooned people have been rescued so far in the state, but they also confirmed Wednesday that many more could still be trapped in submerged areas.

The water level of the river Jhelum continued to recede here and throughout the Kashmir Valley Wednesday.

A rescue operation is on since Sunday afternoon in over two dozen residential areas of the Srinagar city.

All the rescued people recalled the horror.

They said the cries for help of many others in their areas had stopped, indicating they had either died or had resigned to their fate and knew the chances of their survival were bleak.

Areas like Rajbagh, Jwahar Nagar, Gogjibagh, Bemina, Mehjor Nagar, Karan Nagar and Qamarwari in the Srinagar city are still submerged in flood waters.

“Thirty one people are still missing in the landslide tragedy in which 40 people died in Panchauri area in the Udhampur district Tuesday,” Deputy Inspector General of Police Garib Das told IANS Wednesday.

The Srinagar-Jammu highway continued to be closed on the seventh day Wednesday, but traffic on the over 440-km long Srinagar Leh highway was restored Tuesday. This road connects the Kashmir Valley with the Ladakh region.

An acute crisis of petrol and kerosene has hit the Valley. On Wednesday, all filing stations here said they had run out of fuel.

A fallout of the floods has been the breakdown of the communication systems here. The radio station and Doordarshan facility have been shut for the last four days.

All cell phone service providers, except Aircel, went on the blink, snapping connectivity.

Many Kashmiris feel the state government has failed to reach out to the people.

All police stations were Tuesday directed to locate heads of various government departments for a meeting here Wednesday.