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14,800 people rescued from flood affected Kashmir

New Delhi: The State of Jammu & Kashmir has experienced torrential rains since last one week. Armed Forces are carrying out flood relief and rescue operations in the entire State in heavy rains and extremely bad weather conditions. 130 Army columns have been deployed rescuing more than 14800 people so far. 50 Army Medical Teams have also been deployed in alongwith these columns to provide immediate medical assistance to the injured and sick people. Air Force has deployed 16 Medium Lift Helicopters, 9 Light Helicopters and 7 Transport Aircraft for the rescue and flood relief operations. Six NDRF Teams equipped with boats and other flood relief stores and equipment were airlifted by Air Force from Delhi, Bathinda, Pune and Ahmedabad to Srinagar and Avantipur. An Air Force Rapid Action Medical Team was also flown in from Delhi by a C-17 aircraft for augmenting the medical support in Avantipur. An Army Engineer Task Force was airlifted from Adampur to Srinagar by a C-130J aircraft. Arrangements have been made for airlifting 10,000 blankets and 3000 tents from stores of the Armed Forces at Kanpur to the affected areas. In addition, 85 Tons of medicines provided under the aegis of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Red Cross are being airlifted from Delhi to Jammu and Kashmir by an IL-76 aircraft. In all 30 sorties were flown by Air Force transport aircraft and helicopters today airlifting about 110 Ton load and evacuating more than 160 civilians. The relief efforts are being coordinated by HQ Northern Command in consultation with the Advance Air HQ in Udhampur. The situation is being reviewed and monitored regularly by the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff at HQ IDS with Army and Air Force Operations Directorates. A total of 850 personnel have been airlifted so far in the flood affected regions of J&K. Of this 401 were evacuated yesterday. Today One C-17 Globemaster aircraft has been launched from Delhi to Awantipur with RAMT (Rapid Action Medical Team), Two IL 76 aircraft with medical supplies and boats have taken off from Palam Air Force Base for Srinagar. Besides this One IL-76 with teams of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) personnel has also taken off from Palam for Srinagar. Three C-130J Super Hercules special operations aircrafts have been pressed into service to transport boats from Pune and Gandhinagar to Srinagar and blankets (10000) and tents (3000) from Kanpur to Jammu and Srinagar. A total of Twelve AN-32, Four IL-76, Five C-130J and Two C-17 transport aircraft of the IAF have been pressed into operations. On the helicopter front, a total of Twenty Six helicopters of the IAF are operating in the region. Meanwhile, The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, has written to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, offering assistance in the flood relief effort in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. "It is a matter of great distress that the retreating monsoon rains have played havoc in many parts of our two countries," the Prime Minister said in his letter, adding that "the devastation caused by the record rains and the consequent flooding is unprecedented." "While reviewing the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, I was informed that the damage to life and property is equally, if not more, severe in areas across the Line of Control as well. My heart goes out to the affected people and my deepest sympathies are with them and their families. In this hour of need, I offer any assistance that you may need in the relief efforts that will be undertaken by the Government of Pakistan. Our resources are at your disposal wherever you need them," the Prime Minister wrote.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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