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Updated: October 5, 2009 20:55 IST

Armed forces save over 1,300 flood-hit people

Special Correspondent
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CISF personnel shift a woman to a safer place from the island village of Pamulalanka Island in Krishna district. Photo: V. Raju
THE HINDU CISF personnel shift a woman to a safer place from the island village of Pamulalanka Island in Krishna district. Photo: V. Raju

Engaged in rescue and relief operations in flood-hit Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the armed forces have, so far, rescued about 1,336 people, including a family of four stranded on a tree without food for a few days.

The tri-services personnel have been working round-the-clock to save marooned people and provide them with food, a Defence Ministry release said here on Monday.

The Army deployed 14 columns in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh along with life jackets, boats and medical teams.

Following an improvement in the flood situation in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, three columns of Army personnel were de-requisitioned from Monday.

The Air Force pressed into service 29 aircraft and helicopters, including seven Chetaks and 10 MI-8. These aircraft carried out 255 sorties and dropped huge quantity of food packets.

On Monday, the IAF said it carried out a dramatic rescue operation at Vamipenta village in Nandyal district of Andhra Pradesh. Using a helicopter, they saved a family of four, including a four-year-old girl and five-year-old boy. The family had been stranded on a tree branch since flood waters entered their area. The entire village had been evacuated earlier but for these four and a dog.

An IAF spokesperson said since the helicopter could not send the cable of winch through the tree, it dangled it close to the tree and swung it for the family head to latch on to the cable. He was to send them one by one. The spokesperson said the emaciated persons were given medical help.

The Navy also deployed 15 teams of its divers and experts to rescue marooned people. Of these, five teams are at Vijayawada; three each at Mahabubnagar and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh; two each at Karwar and Gadag districts in Karnataka. These teams have rescued more than 500 people, the release said.

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