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Fears of epidemic rise as flood waters recede

An Air Force helicopter hovers over flooded areas in Srinagar on Friday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad

An Air Force helicopter hovers over flooded areas in Srinagar on Friday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad  

Rs. 3.5 lakh to be paid to kin of the dead as ex gratia

As the flood waters in Srinagar continued to recede on Friday, thousands of people were still trapped in their houses waiting to be rescued and tens of thousands were waiting for food and essential supplies.

The Jammu and Kashmir government announced an assistance package of Rs. 200 crore for those affected but Ministers were still not visible on the ground.

While people were still dealing with the massive floods, the hundreds of carcasses floating around raised fears of an epidemic likely to hit the State once the waters dry.

“We had to row through a stretch of unbearable stench rising from hundreds of dead chickens and dogs and cows,” said Sajad Ahmad, a local volunteer who visited Kanihama area on the outskirts of Srinagar.

The water in the area was still six feet high and Mr. Ahmad said that most of the children stranded with their families in the upper floors of their houses were sick. “If measures aren’t taken on a war footing, a major epidemic awaits us,” he said.

The first instalment of assistance includes Rs. 75,000 to every homeless family for rebuilding houses and Rs. 3.5 lakh ex gratia for the kin of the dead.

On Thursday, the body of a photojournalist, Shafat Sidiq, was found in Batamaloo area with both his cameras still slung around his neck. The government has confirmed the number of deaths at 260.

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Printable version | Jul 1, 2020 2:40:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jammu-and-kashmir-floods-aftermath-fears-of-epidemic-rise-as-flood-waters-recede/article6405788.ece

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