India: Fresh rain hampers rescue bid in flood-ravaged Kashmir

September 14, 2014 | By | Reply More

Sep 14, – Fresh rain hampered rescue operations in Indian Kashmir Sunday a week after deadly floods swamped the Himalayan region, with medics and survivors describing nightmarish conditions in the devastated city of Srinagar.

hromedia India Fresh rain hampers rescue bid in flood-ravaged Kashmir intl. news3The floods and landslides have now claimed at least 490 lives in India and neighbouring Pakistan, and rescuers are struggling to cope with the scale of the disaster.

After a few clear days, more rainfall accompanied by thunder and lightning hit relief operations in the worst affected areas of Srinagar, the normally scenic city on the Indian side.

Indian Kashmir’s Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who has come under fire over the slow pace of the rescue effort, admitted his government was “completely paralysed” in its immediate response to the disaster.

“We had no way to communicate with anyone, and other than a walkie talkie set…we were totally and completely isolated from everyone and everywhere,” Abdullah wrote in a first-person account published in the Indian Express newspaper on Sunday.

Security forces have been using boats and helicopters to deliver food and evacuate survivors in both countries.

But the relief effort is fraught with danger and at least 11 people, including a bridegroom, drowned Sunday when a rescue boat carrying a wedding party capsized in the Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan’s Punjab province, according to a senior government official.

While nine stranded patients at Kashmir’s biggest maternity care facility Lal Ded Hospital were finally evacuated on Friday, some relatives continued to wade through chest-deep water to look for family members who had been admitted before floods struck.

One woman, who gave birth in the hospital, told AFP of her rescue from the swirling floodwaters in the hospital.

“We took refuge inside a mosque for three days after some local young men rescued us from the hospital,” she said, without giving a name.

“We are in the middle of a sea without any help.”

Doctors at the state-run Bone and Joint Hospital in Srinagar scrambled to treat casualties afer medical supplies were carried off by the waters.

“We need medicines of all kinds, it is a disaster”, a doctor, speaking anonymously, told an AFP reporter while examining a patient. “Tons of medicines were just washed away.”

Medics are having to work round the clock to help treat patients who have sustained fractures, with submerged potholes a particular danger.

“I made 20 casts today,” hospital worker Ghulan Hassan told AFP as he tried to prepare the casts in a room whose floor had caved in.

Press journalist for HRO media – Saurav Nag report.

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Category: International

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