200 Indian students trapped in Houston

Agencies |   Aug 29,2017 , 02:26 AM IST


Houston/New Delhi:  Union minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday tweeted that 200 Indian students have been trapped in Houston -- one of the biggest cities in the US -- which is witnessing devastating floods after Hurricane Harvey, one of the worst storms in decades, hit the area last week.

In a series of tweets, the Foreign minister, who is known for her prompt interventions, said every effort is being made to rescue the students. She said she is in touch with the Consul General of India in Houston, Anupam Ray, who is in charge of the rescue operations.

The students, the minister said, are at the campus of the University of Houston, an area under neck-deep water. The US Coast Guard did not allow India to send them food and other relief material, as boats are needed to reach the affected areas, she said.

Currently, the local police, along with the US national and state guards, are carrying out the relief work. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has pushed in 4,000 troops for rescue and recovery missions in the floods, which he described as "epic and catastrophic".

Two of the students, she tweeted, are unwell and have been hospitalised. The ministry is ensuring that their relatives reach them as soon as possible. A report from Washington says that Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall on Friday, has been the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years.

The authorities say the region has witnessed a year's worth of rain in just one week. Five persons have died in the resulting floods.

Catastrophic and life-threatening flooding continued in Texas, forcing residents of the US city to flee their homes in anticipation of several more days of "unprecedented" rainfall.

The NWS said conditions are "unprecedented". A "flash flood emergency" was in force across the Houston area, with travel near impossible.

Thousands of homes were without electricity, many schools were closed along with the two main airports, with runways completely flooded.

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