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North India Floods: Army Leads Rescue Operations

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INDIA, June 20, 2013 (BBC): The scale of devastation in Uttarakhand is staggering. As rescuers establish contact with more of the affected villages and settlements, they say many have been flattened to the ground.

On Wednesday, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna flew over Kedarnath, Guptkashi, Govindghat and Joshimath areas to assess the damage. Most of the temple town of Kedarnath – apart from the main Shiva temple – is buried under mud and debris. There are scenes of devastation everywhere. Officials said it would take at least three to four years to get the town back on its feet.

Many of the villages remain cut off with emergency workers unable to reach marooned villages. There are are reported to be groups of people stranded in remote areas without any supplies. Most roads are still closed and many bridges, homes, schools and hotels have been damaged, hampering the relief operation.

Military helicopters and the army are leading rescue operations in India’s flood-hit northern states, where 138 people are now known to have died. About 10,000 people have been rescued in worst-hit Uttarakhand state over three days, PM Manmohan Singh said.

Tens of thousands of pilgrims are still stranded in Uttarakhand, where more than 100 people have been killed. Flood-related deaths have also been reported in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh states and neighboring Nepal.

The monsoon season generally lasts from June to September, bringing rain which is critical to the farming output of both countries, but this year the rain in the north of India and parts of Nepal has been heavier than usual. The floods have swept away buildings and triggered landslides in some places, blocking roads. More than 20 bridges have collapsed.

1 Response to North India Floods: Army Leads Rescue Operations

  1. Bharath Seshadri

    May the mistakes that happened on the banks at Tungabhadra river at Mantralaya and the tragedies in the Gangetic valley in Uttarakhand not ever happen in future with God’s Divine Grace and our hard work and sincere efforts. Let us be prepared in future to handle the dangers which have occurred using the latest advances in Science and Technology and Most Importantly through Prayer. Use of radar systems and devices that can check the danger levels in river water would help to evacuate people in the region much before any tragedy occurs. In USA the technology used to evacuate people during hurricanes and other emergencies can be used. Vehicles that regularly travel in the regions likely to be affected by floods, natural disasters and other natural calamities can collect data and send it for remote monitoring to ensure safety of the inhabitants and travelers. The strength of buildings , trees and hills should be regularly monitored using electronic devices which send signals and based on the reflected and absorbed signal strengths(use of conduction, convection and radiation principles) the weakness of the structures can be determined. The word building in English reflects this Truth. Although the construction is complete it is still called a Building as in that the task of building is not over but needs to be monitored all along the journey of life to ensure safety for all creatures. All buildings , trees and structures need to be regularly maintained and protected as often as possible. Depending on the region a list of possible emergencies due to natural or man made disasters needs to be listed and proactive and reactive measures to handle these emergencies needs to be formulated. It takes a lot of effort to nurture a life or building but just a few seconds to destroy it. Let no effort be wasted in acting smartly to protect lives of all creatures. Nature has provided a solution to every problem that mankind can face and expects us to use the same.
    For example
    To resist the force of hurricanes mangroves can be grown along the shore. For all those ships and vessels on waters teh solution would be to design flying ships just as hover crafts can travel on land , water or air. Or atleast temporary air ships that can save the sailors till the hurricane recedes can be used.
    To detect earth quakes well before hand, German researcher Gabriele Berberich of the University Duisburg Essen explains how ants can sense earth quakes a day before they occur
    Forest fires can be mitigated by directing huge water bodies in the path of fire just as Hercules directed the river water to clean the Aegian stables.
    In short with proper planning we can find that every problem has a solution. We only need to make use of it. Where there is a Will , there is not just a Way, but a High way.

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