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Rediff.com  » News » Army rescues Kashmiri villagers trapped in flash floods

Army rescues Kashmiri villagers trapped in flash floods

September 10, 2012 22:28 IST

The army rescued 33 Gujjars and Bakerwals trapped in flash floods along with their livestock in south Kashmir's Shopian district.

"Ten families of Gujjars along with 200 heads of livestock got into a life-threatening situation when suddenly heavy rains caused havoc in the area leaving them trapped, with no escape routes and no help," a defence spokesman said.          

"Due to incessant rains since Saturday, the water level in Jhelum and its tributaries rose to dangerous levels. On September 9 at 10 am, a request for assistance was received from civil administration to help rescue 33 Gujjar and Bakarwals, and their livestock trapped in the flood waters in river Vishva near village Arijan in Shopian district," the spokesman said in a statement.

"Victor Force immediately came into action and sent six columns of 62-Rashtriya Rifles with adequate disaster management stores for the rescue operations."

"On reaching the site, it was found that a total of 33 Gujjars and Bakarwals and livestock were trapped on a raised ground between the flood waters of river Vishva. Initially an adhoc bridge was prepared by means of ladders and plywood through which four Gujjars were rescued. Subsequently, due to rise in water level and fast undercurrent, the adhoc bridge collapsed," the statement said.

"The rescue team then guided the Gujjars and Bakarwals and their livestock downstream. Thereafter, along with police and civilians, a human chain was formed in the ravaging water and the remaining trapped Gujjars along with their livestock were rescued safety."

"Immediately after the rescue, medical aid and refreshment was provided to the Gujjars and Bakarwals," he added.

Meanwhile a flood alert was sounded by the authorities in summer capital Srinagar on Monday evening.

The divisional commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Samoon reviewed the situation arising due to incessant rains in the valley for three days at a high-level meeting.

Samoon asked officers to keep their men and machinery ready to avoid any eventuality.

He urged the administration to take necessary steps for flood prone areas of Srinagar city and keep a constant vigil on rising water levels in the water bodies of the valley.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar