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Army deployed to deal with Nagpur flood situation
September 15, 2005 20:59 IST
The army has been deployed in the worst-affected Gondia district as the flood situation in Vidarbha worsened on Thursday with the level of water in river Wainganga rising to record levels after the release of 1,80,000 cusecs of water from the Sanjay Sarovar in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh state.
Nearly 1,000 families in Gondia and Bhandara districts have been shifted to safety, reports reaching Nagpur said. The flood waters swept away one person in Bhandara district.
The administration has sought the help of the Indian Air Force in the relief effort. Two helicopters carrying rescue boats have been despatched to the affected areas.
The only consolation for the residents of Vidarbha came from the fact that there has been a let-up in the rains since Thursday morning. Heavy rains have been lashing the region since Sunday.
Deputy Commissioner (General Administration) M A H Khan said that a team of 100 men from the army base in Kamptee have been rushed to Gondia to help relief operations.
The level of water in river Wainganga, which is wreaking havoc in Eastern Vidarbha, touched 15.20 metres at 4 PM on Thursday, an all-time record and 5.70 metres higher than the danger mark of 9.50 metres. The previous record dates to 1932 when the water rose to 14.96 metres.
Eyewitnesses claim the water in river Wainganga is rising at the rate of ten centimetres per minute as authorities in Chhattisgarh released 1,80,000 cusecs of water from Sanjay Sarovar. Besides the Wainganga, several other major rivers in the area, including Bawanthadi and Choolband, are also in spate.
The floodwater swept away Suresh Sonawane in Bhandara district. His body was found after some hours. Several villages in Bhandara and Gondia district remain cut off from the rest of the country for the second day running.
Normal life in the region continues to be disrupted as traffic on several important roads has come to a grinding halt because the water has reached dangerous levels. The continuous heavy rains have also affected some areas in Yavatmal and Wardha districts of Vidarbha. An alert has been sounded in Wardha district.
The situation in Nagpur city improved slightly on Thursday although several areas remained submerged even as residents from affected areas were shifted to safe places.
Most parts of central India, including Vidarbha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, recorded heavy rainfall during the 24 hours ending 8.30 AM on Thursday.
The meteorological office in Nagpur has issued a warning that central India is likely to receive heavy rainfall during the next 24 hours.
Also read: Chhatisgarh rains kill 8