J&K floods a ‘national disaster’

September 07, 2014 12:05 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 05:50 pm IST - SRINAGAR / NEW DELHI

The flood situation in Jammu and Kashmir was declared a “national-level disaster” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday even as the Army alone evacuated 15,000 people from inundated areas across the State.

As more personnel of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), Air Force and Army were pressed into action, the Prime Minister asked other States to also pitch in. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh made a separate appeal to NGOs to mobilise their resources to help deal with the situation.

Five additional NDRF columns and 70 boats were sent to the flood-affected areas on Sunday morning.

The Air Force alone airlifted 850 people over the past two days; 449 were evacuated on Sunday. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took to Twitter to appeal to people not to panic and assured that help was on its way. Meanwhile, after the aerial survey, Mr. Modi took stock of the flood situation and relief operations in meetings with the State administration in Jammu and Srinagar. Before leaving for J&K — where he announced Rs. 1,000-crore assistance in addition to Rs. 1,100 crore already made available to the State government through the State Disaster Relief Fund — he convened a crisis review meeting with the Cabinet Secretary and other senior officials in the national capital.

The Centre also announced Rs. 2 lakh ex-gratia to the next of kin of those who died in the floods. Also, Rs. 50,000 would be given from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to those grievously injured. Though official figure of the deaths is not available, by all accounts at least 160 people have lost their lives so far.

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