Flood situation worsens

Major rescue, relief operations on in N-Ktaka; toll rises to 106

 
People in a flood-hit region in Hubli, on Friday. PTI As many as 10 Army helicopters, 120 rescue experts of the National Disaster Response Force, Pune, a Naval team from Karwar and several MEG boats have been pressed into service.

 “It is an unprecedented rainfall. The situation is serious. The entire government machinery in the affected districts has been pressed into rescue and relief operations,” Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said.

Heavy rain continued unabated for the fourth consecutive day on Friday, marooning more villages and rendering thousands of people homeless.

The death toll has risen to 106, with over 59,000 houses being washed away. As many as 13 lakh people have been affected across the 13 northern districts of the State.The worst-affected districts are Bijapur, Bagalkot, Raichur, Koppal, Bellary and Gadag.

Heavy floods have forced thousands of people to take refuge either on treetops or tall buildings. Hundreds have fled their homes and taken shelter in public buildings such as schools and community halls. Gruel centres have been opened in 231 places, and food packets were being air dropped, State Revenue Department sources said.
The chief minister, who reviewed the flood situation with top officials of the State Government, Army and Air Force at the Vidhana Soudha, said the people in the flood-hit places had been advised to keep off their homesteads.

Yeddyurappa announced the release of an additional Rs 100 crore for relief work.
The deputy commissioners of the affected districts have at their disposal a total of Rs 349 crore for relief mission. Besides, the government will sanction houses to all who were rendered homeless, under the Ashraya scheme.

The ministers in charge of the affected districts have been asked to camp in their respective zones and monitor relief operations. The chief minister said KPCL Managing Director S M Jaamdar has been named the nodal officer for monitoring relief operations.

BSY speaks to PM

Yeddyurappa said he had spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over phone and appraised him about the flood situation.

He added that he had requested the prime minister to provide immediate financial assistance to tackle the calamity. The State will submit a fresh memorandum to the Centre, seeking additional funds for relief work, Yeddyurappa said, adding that the Centre was yet to respond to a request to release Rs 712 crore.

The CM along with the chief secretary will conduct an aerial survey of the flood-hit districts of Bellary, Raichur, Koppal and Gadag on Sunday. He has also convened an all-party meeting that day to discuss the flood situation and initiate further action. Yeddyurappa has requested the Centre to provide him with a special Air Force helicopter to conduct the aerial survey.

Minister of State for Railways K H Muniyappa on Friday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured him of immediate aid from the Centre.

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