The flood fury reported last week in this column has continued lash Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujrat and Kerala affecting normal life in these areas. Armed forces have swiftly reacted and evacuated lakhs of marooned people. India Air force aircraft like IL-76, An-32 and Avro are being used to airlift Army/Naval rescue teams/NDRF along with their equipment and relief material. Army columns including Engineer Task Forces along with boats and flood rescue equipment have been extensively deployed in affected areas. Naval rescue teams with boats and specialist divers have been deployed inland for rescue operations along with the Coast Guard. Helicopters of the three services are being utilised extensively to rescue marooned people. Over 1000 personnel from Armed Forces along with boats and other specialised flood relief equipment have been deployed in Karnataka along with helicopters with winching capability. About 400 personnel along with helicopters have been deployed in Maharashtra for rescue operations.
Over four lakh people have so far been moved to safety from the flood-affected areas of Maharashtra itself. The rescued and evacuated persons are being provided necessary medical aid and food while the marooned people are being distributed food packets and water. Union Home Minister Amit Shah undertook an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Karnataka and Maharashtra. Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff has established an overall Command and Control Centre at Delhi to receive demands and process allocations of resources from the three Services. Coordination with Central Government is being done 24 x 7.