09/22/14

Permalink Monster floods kill over 400 in India, Pakistan

The heaviest rainfall in 50 years has resulted in more than 400 deaths in the Kashmir region – with thousands still trapped on rooftops – as residents in both India and Pakistan are criticizing their governments for not doing enough to help them. In India, at least 217 people were reported to have died by Tuesday, with another 47,000 evacuated from their homes. The city of Siringar was still submerged, as were more than 2,000 other villages. The Indian Air Force has been pressed into action and has air-dropped over 550 tons of relief. Eighty medical teams have established emergency health services in state-run health centers and schools. “The damage is shocking. People have been stranded on the rooftops of their homes for the last three days in some parts of Kashmir,” said a senior official from India’s National Disaster Response Force. He added that they would have sent in disaster response teams earlier, but “we were all caught off guard because there was not a single warning issued by the weather office. The flash floods took us by surprise.” Although India’s meteorological department did forecast heavy rain in Kashmir for last week, the nation’s media reported the Central Water Commission, which issues flood warnings, did not warn the northern state of Kashmir, where the downpours were heaviest.

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