Kashmir Floods: Death toll reaches 300, hundreds still missing

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Jammu: The death toll in floods in Jammu and Kashmir has risen to 300 and the toll may rise as hundreds of people are missing in the State.
Officials said number of people who have died in floods in the State has risen to 300 with recovery of more bodies.
They said the death toll could be higher as over 360 people are missing in the state. Among the missing include tourists from outside the state, army personnel and those submerged in their houses in the Valley.
According to officials, some people are feared trapped in debris of the collapsed houses in Srinagar as many areas are still under water.
The government’s initial estimates have revealed that over 40,000 houses have been damaged across the State and number was in hundreds in Srinagar city alone.
“Bodies of two people including a resident of Bantalab area of Jammu, who were trapped in one of the flood affected Rajbagh area have been recovered,” said a government official.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Rohit Kansal, said one more body was recovered from Jawahar Nagar bund area today. “The identity of the person is being ascertained”.
“The death toll could be higher as we try to de-water the city areas as fast as possible,” he said.
Among the areas which are still inundated include Bemina, Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar and Indira Nagar.
“The government has pressed into service the vehicles of the fire and emergency services department and water pumps to de-water the areas. However, many areas are still under water,” officials said.
The government has also breached the bunds, but most houses and the internal roads in Rajbagh and Jawahar Nagar area continue to remain under water.
The water has still not receded from the areas lying in the vicinity of Lalla Ded hospital. The delay on part of the government to drain water from the inundated areas led to the surge of anger among the residents here, who have even staged protests against government for not cleaning filth and carcasses of animals from the roads.
On Saturday, residents of Tengpora Batamaloo area protested against the government for its failure to remove the carcasses of animals from the area that had caused the nauseating stink.
On 15th day of the floods, marooned people in Bemina area were taking their household goods to safer areas while normalcy was returning to other areas like Chanapora, Natipora, Hyderpora and other areas.

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Ishfaq Naseem

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