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Over 1,30,000 people stranded in flood-ravaged Kashmir rescued

SRINAGAR: Rescuers distributed packets of cooked food and pouches of drinking water to thousands of people stranded in flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the summer capital Srinagar, as over 1,30,000 people were rescued as on Friday, official sources said.

The army evacuated 8,000 people by road from Ramban and adjoining areas, and provided them food and medicines. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured that the central government would not let money come in the way of providing relief to the state’s people.

The stepped-up efforts came even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday appealed to the nation to contribute generously and to “stand shoulder to shoulder” with the distressed people of Jammu and Kashmir which has been the worst floods in six decades.

While hundreds have been rendered homeless, the main city of Srinagar has been partially submerged under water. Describing the floods as unprecedented, Modi said that a large number of people have died or have been temporarily displaced.

Rajnath Singh told the media in New Delhi, “Approximately 200 dead and 1,30,000 people have been rescued from the state.” Around 1,200 villages in the Kashmir Valley and 1,100 in Jammu region have been affected, he said.

“Around 400 villages have been totally submerged. It is a national calamity,” he said and added, “We will be able to assess the damage only after the water recedes,” the minister said to queries about the total damage due to the floods.