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J&K floods: 160 feared killed, Army rescue efforts on

J&K floods: 160 feared killed, Army rescue efforts on
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J&K Floods: 160 Feared Killed, Army Rescue Efforts On. The death toll in Jammu and Kashmir following the floods has risen to 150 people. Mr Abdullah said, “We will now focus more on relief and rehabilitation.

Jammu: The death toll in Jammu and Kashmir following the floods has risen to 150 people. Mr Abdullah said, “We will now focus more on relief and rehabilitation. The situation is slowly going back to normalcy in Jammu while in Kashmir the situation has become worse. The situation is still bad in Srinagar. Our priority is to save people.”

Armed forces on Sunday stepped up rescue efforts in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir where 12,500 people have so far been evacuated to safety by the Army while Air Force pressed more planes and copters into service and opened a disaster monitoring cell to deal with the crisis. IAF has alerted all its bases to maintain a high state of readiness to respond to the crisis and has committed 29 planes and choppers into the relief efforts.

One hundred and fifty boats, rescue teams, divers, floodlights and searchlights are being sent to the state, officials said, adding there was also need for more tents. In Pacheri village in Udhampur, seven people were killed on Sunday and over 20 were missing after nearly two dozen houses were buried in landslides. Twenty-two people died overnight in Jammu, taking the toll to 145, including 11 in the Kashmir Valley.

The Vaishno Devi shrine yatra remained suspended for the fourth consecutive day with authorities saying the pilgrimage would resume only after the weather improves. “The IAF Command has alerted all its bases to be at a high state of readiness to respond to the emerging situation,” said Col. S.D. Goswami, PRO, Army’s Northern Command.

The Headquarters, Western Air Command, has also opened a disaster monitoring cell to coordinate between the efforts of all its bases, including Srinagar, Udhampur, Jammu and Sarsawa, apart from the fixed wing effort of other bases, he said. A total of 850 persons have been airlifted so far from the flood-affected regions. Of this, 401 were evacuated on Saturday, reports said.

“Rescue and relief operations have been intensified in view of the betterment of weather. It will continue till all people trapped in the floods are rescued,” Air Officer Commanding (AoC), Jammu IAF Station, Air Commodore PE Patange told reporters here on Sunday. He said that the priority was first to save lives besides airdropping rations and medicines.

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