M.P. flood toll rises to 23

Air Force personnel join relief and rescue operations

Staff Correspondent

BHOPAL: The death toll due to floods and heavy rain in Madhya Pradesh rose to 23 and the number of those missing went up to 22 on Tuesday. Briefing newspersons, the Chief Minister, Babulal Gaur, said that nine districts had been badly affected by floods. These districts were Rewa, Satna, Katni, Panna, Chhattarpur, Damoh, Sagar, Narsinghpur and Jabalpur.

He said that eight deaths had been reported from Sagar, where at least 17 persons were missing. Five persons had died in Katni. The toll in Satna and Jabalpur was 3 while one each had died in Rewa, Damoh, Narsinghpur and Umaria districts.

Three persons were said to be missing in Satna district and two in Umaria. The Chief Minister said that 9.5 lakh people in 358 villages and six cities and towns had been affected by floods.

Mr Gaur said that 129 villages across several districts had been marooned.

The number of such villages in Jabalpur was 32, while it was 25 in Katni, 30 in Panna, 4 in Chhattarpur, 25 in Damoh, 9 in Sagar, and 4 in Narsinghpur. At least five villages in Damoh and two in Panna had been completely submerged, he added.

He further said that 1604 persons had taken shelter in 17 relief camps in Rewa, 2000 in 10 camps in Jabalpur, 2580 in 13 camps in Satna, 4300 in 28 camps in Katni, 10, 400 in 15 camps in Panna, 1500 in 6 camps in Chhattarpur, 1500 in 15 camps in Sagar and 575 persons in 13 camps in Narsinghpur.

He said that five Indian Air Force helicopters had already landed here and three of them along with 15 motor boats had been rushed to Panna, Sagar and Damoh for rescue and relief operations. Besides Army personnel, Home Guards jawans and Special Armed Force personnel of the State Police were also engaged in the relief operations.

The Chief Minister said that Rs. 93 crores had been released from the calamity relief fund for tackling the flood situation. While 25 per cent of this fund was State's contribution, the rest had been received from the Centre.

Briefing the media, the State Relief Commissioner, Iqbal Ahmed, said that against the danger mark of 293.85 meters, the water level in the Narmada at Hoshangabad at 3 p.m. on Tuesday was 292.03 meters.

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