Coordinated operations by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and the National and State Disaster Relief Force teams on Thursday rescued 3,500 persons and evacuated 10,000 others across southern Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Incessant rains have over the past few days resulted in widespread flooding in southern Maharashtra, Karnataka and northern Kerala. A Joint Operations Centre was established at south Maharashtra and Goa sub-area, Pune for coordinating the relief and rescue operations in the three States.
As of Thursday, the Army had deployed 16 columns, 14 Engineer Task Forces, including a Para Special Force team for ongoing flood relief and rescue operations in Kolhapur, Sangli and Raigad districts of Maharashtra and Bagalkot, Raichur, Belagavi and Kodagu districts of Karnataka.
Additional troops were also been requisitioned for carrying out flood relief operations in the area of Kalaburgi in north Karnataka and Wayanad district of Kerala. A Special Engineer Task Force was air lifted from Jodhpur to Belagavi for further enhancement of the ongoing rescue operations.
“A total of around 3,500 persons have been rescued and 10,000 persons have been evacuated from marooned and flooded areas, provided medical aid and distributed with food packets. The army personnel showcased dauntless courage and extreme devotion to duty while rescuing 24 persons including a pregnant lady stranded for more than 72 hours at Kowad village in Kolhapur district,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said.
Across the border a naval team was deployed in Belagavi’s Kovadu where 25 villagers were rescued. “Water had risen to nearly 10 feet making their early evacuation a challenging task. The teams have been redeployed to neighbouring villages,” a naval spokesperson said.
In Maharashtra’s Chickhali, four Indian Navy teams ensured that hundreds of people were moved in rubber boats to Sontali. On Wednesday evening, 240 people were rescued following which operations paused due to rains and resumed at day-break. The Coast Guard’s Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) team too was at Chickhali and evacuated 150 people stranded in their flooded homes and streets.