J& K floods: the horrid aftermath
The valley has been hit by the worst floods in 109 years. There is massive damage to life and property as the rescue operations continue to bring people to safer areas. The rescue operation involving 86 aircrafts and about 30,000 troops is finding it difficult to cope up with damage. J&K is the 19th most populous state in India which has dwarfed the rescue effort. The flood waters have made life impossible as many people are still stranded in their homes waiting for relief and aid to reach them. People are running out of food, drinking water and even life-saving drugs. Many injured and critically ill-patients have not been able to reach hospitals in safer zones in time. Indian army and aid workers are also delivering the basic food, water and basic drugs to people who chose to remain in the upper floors of their houses. However, the flood waters are still there which the authorities are finding it difficult to pump out. The public anger is growing at the helpless authorities which are running out of pumps to flush out the water. Intermittent rains have further added to difficulty in rescue mission. Many pumps installed to drain out water have submerged and some new ones have been ordered from New Delhi.
Many animals have died and the bodies and their bodies are still under water or lying on the road sides. They pose the gravest threat of epidemic which have now gripped the minds of people. The swollen Jhelum river has engulfed most of Kashmir and also parts of Pakistan. Indian official death toll has been kept at 200 whereas the Pakistan government has placed it at 264. The figures are expected to rise astronomically once the flood waters recede.
To add to the woes, all communication lines have been cut and keeping contact with rescue teams has become impossible. It will take months for life to return to normal in the valley for which the locals are also prepared looking at the damage. However, the recent threat of epidemics have engulfed the residents and is a major cause of concern.