In view of the worsening flood situation in Kashmir and inundation of hundreds of villages, Army has intensified Mission ‘Sahayata’ employing more than 60 Army columns and 13 Engineer teams tirelessly working to rescue precious lives trapped in flooded villages, isolated houses and multi-storied buildings in the inundated areas all over Kashmir. As the number of shelter less people is rising, Army is also providing tented accommodation to hundreds of people.
Major flood rescue operations started on 02 September, however, with increasing involvement, Mission ‘Sahayata’ was launched to cover areas in entire Valley.
First critical rescue mission was undertaken on 02 September when in an extraordinary display of bravery and commitment, a youth was rescued from Sindh River at Watalbagh village of Ganderbal. Since then, with every passing day, Army’s involvement in extremely challenging circumstances of rescue kept increasing.
By 04 September, eight major columns were employed for rescuing large number of families trapped in areas that had got trapped in inundated areas. Over 400 people were taken to safety. In addition to these, large number of people were assisted to relocate themselves, many vehicles stuck inside water were recovered and food packets were distributed.
By 05 September, there were 70 major columns and 12 Engineer teams operating in Kashmir and by the night over 5000 precious lives had been moved to safety. Army troops were working against all odds, endangering their own lives.
On 06 September, a column of Army operating at Kakapora of Pulwama District itself came under floods. While moving on a boat to place of safety, the boat carrying 11 personnel capsized and they got stranded. A helicopter based rescue mission was launched to rescue the stranded personnel, however, bad weather prevented execution of the mission and finally boats were used to reach. Till making of this report two soldiers were still stranded in the area. Such is the situation in certain areas of Kashmir that hundreds of families that moved into upper stories of their houses due to inundation of ground floor, are yet to be reached.
“Joint Control Room and helpline centers established by Army in Kashmir are getting frantic calls from people and dispatching columns to rescue them,” the army PRO informed. “Bad weather, not allowing employment of helicopters, is further affecting the rescue mission.”
On 06 September, on a request of the civil administration, Army is providing 50 tents in the Noorbagh area of Safakadal to accommodate hundreds of people stranded due to the floods.