Srinagar/Jammu: Massive rescue operations were underway Monday to evacuate tens of thousands of people stranded in floods in Jammu and Kashmir as the situation remained grim with most parts of Srinagar city still under water and bad communication lines and high water levels posing a big challenge.
As authorities struggled to deal with the calamity, a landslide was reported from Pachori village in Udhampur district and mitigation forces have reached the area to rescue the few people trapped there.
A total of 25 boats have been launched in flooded areas of Srinagar city to ferry people out even as over 5,100 people have been rescued from the state which is reeling under heavy floods.
Flood fury has so far claimed the lives of nearly 150 people and damaged many buildings, including hospitals, and snapped road and communication links, cutting off many areas. The Army cantonment, Civil Secretariat and the High Court in Srinagar have also been inundated.
"We are facing a big problem of communication as all links are down. We are not able to communicate with our teams sent on ground in this flood-ravaged areas. Also, as water level is high in many places our personnel are not able to reach the stranded," National Disaster Response Force chief O P Singh told reporters in Delhi.
"We have launched a massive operation in the state and divided the state into three zones for smooth conduct of operations. Each zone will be headed by a commandant-rank officer and there will be an overall supervision of a DIG," he said.
A total of 5,183 people have been rescued till now from the flood waters which includes children and women, he said.
The NDRF Director General said massive operations are being undertaken in the submerged areas of Goglibagh, Batmalu, Badami Bagh and Bakshi Stadium area of state capital Srinagar apart from other areas.
He said over 13 bodies have also been recovered by NDRF teams in the state till now, he said.
Over 500 satellite phones have also been dispatched to aid rescuers deployed in both Jammu and Kashmir Valley areas, he said.