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1,84,000 rescued in flood-hit Kashmir, focus now on health
Sunday September 14, 2014 10:47 PM, IANS

Over 1,84,000 people marooned in the floods in Jammu and Kashmir have been rescued so far by the armed forces and NDRF, and the focus now will largely be on the health situation, officials said Sunday.

Kashmir flood

There is a fear of outbreak of water-borne diseases in the state, and attention is now being paid to draining out the flood water, and providing clean drinking water to the people.

As drinking water remains a problem, 13 tonnes of water purifying tablets and six water filtration plants with a capacity to filter 1.2 lakh bottles per day have already been rushed to Srinagar.

Engineering stores, including suction pumps from Vishakhapatnam, have reached the flood-affected areas to drain out the water. More heavy duty pumps are being airlifted from Jodhpur and Raipur to other flood-hit areas.

Sewage pumps from Delhi have also been dispatched to the Kashmir Valley.

Thirty generator sets of three to five KVA capacity have been sent to Srinagar to augment continuous power supply in relief camps and field hospitals.

Additional communication equipment of BSNL are being dispatched to restore the communication systems in the state.

A statement from home ministry said the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was working to prevent water-borne diseases like diarrhoea from spreading in Srinagar.

"Since water in most of the places recedes, threat of diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases may arise," the home ministry said in the statement.

"Thus, the NDRF has established five medical camps in various water-logged areas of Srinagar to provide healthcare facilities to the marooned people," it said.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who visited Srinagar Sunday, proposed floating clinics on boats to send medical teams and supplies to people in the inundated areas.

Eighty medical teams of the Armed Forces Medical Services are already operating full swing in the affected areas.

Four field hospitals have been established in Avantipur, Pattan, Anantnag and Old Airfield, where medical aid is being provided to the ailing people.

"Till now, doctors have treated around 51,476 patients," a statement said.

"Two additional fully-equipped field hospitals with laboratory testing equipment facility have also been established in Srinagar. More relief materials, including blankets and tents, water bottles from the IRCTC and food packets, are being airlifted from Patna, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Amritsar," it said.

According to the defence ministry, 84 transport aircraft and helicopters of the Indian Air Force and the Army Aviation Corps are continuing their efforts in rescue and relief operations.

"The army has deployed around 30,000 soldiers for rescue and relief operations in the flood-affected areas. More than 5,08,000 litres of water, 3,10,000 food packets and over 1,054 tonnes of cooked food have already been airdropped and distributed in the flood-affected areas," an army official said.

So far, 2,253 sorties have been undertaken by the helicopters and aircraft of the armed forces and 3,017 tonnes of relief materials dropped by the Indian Air Force.

A total of 224 boats of the army and 148 inflatable boats of the NDRF are actively involved in the rescue operations.

The armed forces have also established 19 relief camps in Srinagar and Jammu region.

In Srinagar region, camps were established at B.B. Cantt, Avantipur, Old Airfield, Sumbal, Chattargam and Jijamata Mandir, where thousands of rescued people are being sheltered. They are also being provided with food and other basic amenities.

To restore road connectivity, five task forces of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which include 5,700 personnel, have been deployed in Srinagar, Rajouri and Akhnoor.

"As of now, they have restored road connectivity in Batote-Anantnag and Srinagar-Sonamarg. The Srinagar-Baramulla road is now open for light vehicles. On the Jammu-Srinagar highway, BRO personnel have cleared the road up to KM 172 (Ramsu). Work is in progress to clear fresh landslides in areas that were cleared yesterday (Saturday) on this road," a statement said.

"The situation is being continuously monitored and progress of the events are updated in the headquarters of the Integrated Defence Staff in New Delhi," a defence ministry statement said.

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