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14 children among 43 dead in Kashmir floods

14 children among 43 dead in Kashmir floods

Srinagar: Fourteen children who died at a hospital here are among the 43 people found dead in the Kashmir Valley as the flood waters receded in Jammu and Kashmir, authorities said Saturday.

Officials Saturday said the 14 children had died in the government-run G.B. Pant Hospital here. The hospital and other major hospitals in the city, including the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh (SMHS) and the Government Medical College (GMC), were inundated in the floods.

State government officials confirmed to IANS that 29 bodies had been found in the Kashmir Valley alone after the flood waters receded.

Officials said there was four to 10 feet of flood water in residential areas of Shivpura, Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Wazirbagh, Gogjibagh, Karan Nagar, Shetrashahi, Bemina, Qamarwari and some other areas in the Srinagar city.

The main business hubs of the city - Lal Chowk, Residency Road, Maisuma, Hari Singh High Street and Karan Nagar are still submerged. The financial losses to businesses in these markets is estimated to be multi-crores.

The markets in the old city areas of Srinagar have been closed for the last six days because of shortage of goods, although these areas are not affected by the flood waters directly.

The Srinagar-Jammu national highway through which all supplies are routed to the land-locked valley remained closed for the sixth day Saturday. Efforts are on to restore this lifeline to Kashmir.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has confirmed that all records of state's premier financial institution - The Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd. - are safe and people need not worry about their deposits.

People were seen lined up in unending queues at petrol pumps in north Kashmir's Ganderbal district.

Authorities have started bringing in petroleum products into the Valley through the Manali-Leh-Srinagar highway that is open for traffic.

More than 15,000 people from different parts of the country are waiting at the Srinagar airport to be flown out of the flood-ravaged Valley, officials said.

Although the local radio station and Doordarshan are still unable to resume services, an alternative arrangement was started Friday by airing flood-related messages through the Prasar Bharati controlled FM station here.

All telecom connectivity, including landlines, mobile services and the internet, are shut for the fifth day Saturday in the Valley despite claims by the authorities that these were being restored "on a war footing".

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