With the weather clearing up a bit on the fifth day after rains wreaked havoc in north India, especially Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, the governments of the two states were focusing on rescue work.
The IAF and the Army deployed 30 helicopters in all to transport over 20,000 kg of food, medical supplies and relief material and dropped them at designated relief work centres.
In Himachal Pradesh, the government put the total toll from the flash floods at 11 and said only one of its districts was hit by the natural disaster.
In Delhi, as the Yamuna river overflowed, the Central Water Commission noted that the water level was at a high flood risk situation, resulting in the state government evacuating 5,000 persons from low-lying areas along the river banks to safer places. A National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) team was deployed in the rescue and relief operations here.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs was monitoring the situation, in coordination with the state government,” a central government official said. A total of 56 columns of Army personnel and 29 NDRF teams were deployed for relief and rescue operations in the three states.“In all, 102 sorties were carried out by the IAF’s 21 helicopters. These apart, a C-130J plane carried out reconnaissance to identify the worst hit areas for focussed relief work.
The Army’s helicopters carried out over 50 sorties, after a makeshift helipad was constructed at Govindghat,” a Defence Ministry official said. In Uttarakhand, over 15 000 people stranded in Kedarnath and Govindghat were evacuated to Joshimath relief camps by air and road routes. Rescue efforts were being concentrated as of now on Kedarnath shrine and its adjoining areas in Rudraprayag district which was the worst-hit.