Fast-moving floodwaters submerged large parts of the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday after five days of pounding rain. The flooding, the worst in 50 years, has killed at least 120 people across the Himalayan region.
On Sunday the rains had stopped but officials said rescue efforts in the city of Srinagar were being hampered by the spreading water that had overflowed from the Jhelum River. In many neighborhoods, the water was about 4 meters (12 feet) deep, submerging entire homes. Stranded residents left their homes to move in with friends or relatives in safer areas.
“I’m in my 80s and I’ve never seen floods like this,” said Ghulam Nabi, speaking through a window from the third story of his house in the upscale Rajbagh neighborhood of Srinagar. “If this is how it is in my neighborhood, I cannot imagine the devastation in other areas,” he said.
Thousands of state police and army rescue workers have fanned out across the state to help with relief and rescue efforts.
At windows and balconies, worried residents looked at the swirling waters and waited for help.
“The situation is extremely grim,” top civilian official Rohit Kansal said. “We are not able to reach many people because the water is moving so fast.”
On Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surveyed the flood-hit areas from a helicopter and promised the state federal help to deal with the devastation.
In Indian Kashmir, at least 450 villages have been submerged and 2,000 other villages have been affected by the floodwaters, officials said.
All schools, colleges and offices have been shut, and electricity and drinking water supplies have been limited across the state.
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