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Rajasthan flood toll rises to 130
August 27, 2006 22:10 IST
The death toll in Rajasthan's flash floods on Sunday rose to 130 with rescue workers finding more bodies in the worst hit Barmer district as authorities stepped up relief operations in villages where dozens of people were still missing.
Officials said navy divers and rescue teams found bodies beneath 25 feet of stagnant floodwaters. In Jaipur, state Relief Minister K L Meena put the toll in Barmer district alone at 95.
In the Barmer region, 35 bodies were fished out in Malwa village and 10 in Bayut tehsil.
In villages like Khawas and Malwa, many people said they did not have enough food or drinking water. People were desperately looking for missing kin and entire families have taken shelter on high sand dunes that were not inundated by the waters.
The floods, described as one of the worst tragedies witnessed by the state in recent decades, were triggered by unusually heavy rains in Barmer and nearby areas since August 18. The area recorded 723 mm of rains over the past week, as compared to the average of about 200 mm for this time of year.
Meena said 95 deaths were reported in Barmer, 10 in Pali, six in Udaipur, four each in Jalore and Rajsamand, three each in Chittorgarh and Sirohi, two each in Dungarpur and Banswara, and one in Jhalawar.
A navy team brought in from Mumbai had reached affected villages and was searching for missing people, whose number was put at over 300 by Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal.
The Rajasthan government released an additional Rs 100 crores today for flood relief operations in the 12 affected districts, Meena said.