Women and the elderly being evacuated from a flooded neighbourhood in Srinagar on Sept. 7, 2014 (Associated Press photo)
Srinagar/Jammu: Nearly 120 people have died in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been hit by its worst floods in 50 years. But unofficial figures suggest that number could be as high as 150. Lakhs of people in over 10 districts of the state are affected. In capital Srinagar, people are stranded on roof tops awaiting rescue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called it a "national-level disaster."
Here are the latest developments:
The PM undertook an aerial survey of the state on Sunday and also held a review meeting to assess the situation. He has assured the state of all Central help. "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," he said.
The Army, which is playing a key role in rescue operations, said that more than 15,000 people had been rescued till Sunday evening, over 2,000 had been given shelter and thousands given food and first aid. More than 200 columns have been deployed. Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag supervised relief and rescue efforts in the state today.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said on Sunday evening that 17 teams of 50 people each had been deployed since Saturday and had rescued more than 3,500 people. An NDRF spokesperson said roads have been affected in many places and bridges have been washed away.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said 110 people have died in the floods all over the state. "I appeal to people to not panic, I know the circumstances are bad but request them to stay on upper floors. We promise to reach them," he said, adding that the Centre has assured the state that "40 to 50 boats will be sent to Srinagar. Choppers are ready, planes also on standby."
In Srinagar, three major hospitals are reportedly inundated. Two floors of the three-storey Government hospital for children in the heart of Srinagar are flooded and about 300 people - patients, doctors, nurses and attendants - are now crowding the top floor. There is no power supply. Two other hospitals have also reported flooding and sent SOS' for rescue.
The Jhelum river, swollen with rain water, has breached its embankments, causing the flooding in Srinagar. Many parts of the capital city are without electricity and phone lines are down. Those who were unable to move to safer places are now on terraces and roof tops making desperate calls for help.
Mr Abdullah said while there is an improvement in the situation in Jammu, it is worsening in Kashmir, especially Srinagar, where areas like Badami Bagh, Indira Nagar and Raj Bagh are badly hit. The Army cantonment in Badami Bagh is flooded. Areas in south Kashmir like Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Anantnag are totally cut off.
In the Jammu region, landslides triggered by heavy rainfall have damaged roads, dozens of bridges, buildings and crops. Vehicular traffic has been stopped on the Jammu-Pathankot highway. Katra-bound trains have been halted. Haj flights scheduled up to September 12 have been postponed.
23 aircraft and 26 choppers have been deployed for rescue. Three C-130J Super Hercules special operations aircraft are transporting boats and relief material from Pune and Gandhinagar to Srinagar. Medical teams and equipment have been sent from Delhi.
For information and assistance, please call these helpline numbers: Delhi J&K House - 011 24611210 and 24611108; Srinagar - 0194-2452138; Jammu - 0191-2560401