Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Armed forces rescue hundreds in flood-hit states

NEW DELHI: Undertaking one of the biggest relief and rescue operations in the flood-ravaged states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the armed forces have rescued hundreds of marooned people so far.

"1,336 people have been rescued so far by the armed forces in the flood-ravaged states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The army, air force and the navy are working round-the-clock to rescue the marooned people and provide much needed food in the flood affected areas," a defence ministry spokesperson said Monday.

In the flood fury that hit Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and other neighbouring states of Goa and Maharashtra Oct 1, following torrential rains under the influence of a low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal, a large number of towns and villages were either submerged or inundated by water from the Krishna, Tungabhadra and Don rivers.

"The army has deployed around 1000 of its men in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh along with life jackets, boats and medical teams," the spokesperson added.

The flood situation is improving in Mahbubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh.

"The Indian Air Force (IAF) in one of its biggest rescue operations so far has deployed 29 aircraft and helicopters, including seven Chetaks and 10 MI-8s, for rescue and relief operations. These aircraft have already carried out 255 sorties and dropped a huge quantity of food packets in the affected areas," an IAF official said.

The Indian Navy also has deployed 15 teams of its divers and experts to rescue the marooned people in the two states. Of these, five teams are at Vijaywada, three at Mahbubnagar, three at Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh, two at Karwar and two at Gadag district in Karnataka. These teams have already rescued more than 500 people from the affected areas.

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