Srinagar/Jammu: Rescuers, including from the Army, distributed packets of cooked food, and pouches of drinking water to thousands of stranded people in flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir, especially in summer capital Srinagar, as over 130,000 people were rescued till Friday, officials said.
The Army evacuated 8,000 people by road from Ramban and adjoining areas, and provided them food and medicines.
Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh assured that the central government will not let money come in the way of providing relief to the state's people.
The stepped-up efforts came even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday appealed to the nation to contribute generously and to "stand shoulder to shoulder" with the distressed people of Jammu and Kashmir which has been the worst floods in six decades.
While hundreds have been rendered homeless, the main city of Srinagar has been partially submerged under water.
Describing the floods as unprecedented, Modi said that a large number of people have died or have been temporarily displaced.
Rajnath Singh told the media in New Delhi: "Approximately 200 are dead and 130,000 people have been rescued from the state."
Around 1,200 villages in the Kashmir Valley and 1,100 in Jammu region have been affected, he said.
"Around 400 villages have been totally submerged (in flood water). It is a national calamity," he added.
"We will be able to assess the damage only after the water recedes," the minister said to queries about the total damage due to the floods.
Asked about separatists instigating protests, Rajnath Singh said: "We have closed our eyes to the separatists."
Stating that the central government has taken "immediate and proactive" action, he said Prime Minister Modi has announced Rs.1,000 crore for flood relief and rehabilitation.
A defence ministry statement in Jammu, said 10 bodies have been recovered from Udhampur district, while a search is on for 31 others who got reportedly buried in the Sep 5-6 landslide that followed heavy rain in Punjar Sadda village.
The armed forces said in a statement that 13 tonnes of water purifying tablets and six water filtration plants with a capacity to filter 1.2 lakh bottles per day has already reached Srinagar. Engineering stores including suction pumps from Vishakhapatnam are also being sent to flood affected area.
Communication equipment of department of telecommunication, Army, BSNL and some of private companies have been dispatched to restore the communication systems in the state, while some 22,000 litres of fuel from Ambala has also been transported to the Kashmir Valley.
It said 8,200 blankets and 1,074 tents were provided to the flood victims, while 80 medical teams of the Armed Forces Medical Services are already operating in full swing.
Four field hospitals have been established in Avantipur, Pattan, Anantnag and Old Airfield in the Kashmir Valley to provide medical aid to the ailing people. Till now they have treated more than 21,500 patients.
One more fully equipped field hospital from Bathinda has reached Srinagar.
Around 4.7 tonnes medicines and other health care materials including a mobile oxygen generation plant are also being transported from Delhi to the flood-affected area. More relief materials including blankets and tents, water bottles and food packets are being airlifted from Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Patna, Amritsar and Chandigarh.
Eighty nine transport aircraft and helicopters of Indian Air Force and Army's Aviation Corps have been pressed into service. Army has deployed around 30,000 troops for rescue and relief operations, in which 21,000 troops are deployed in Srinagar region and 9,000 troops in Jammu region.
Armed forces personnel are distributing water bottles and food packets on a large scale and so far 3,98,000 litres of water, 31,500 food packets and over 748 tonnes cooked food have already been airdropped and distributed in the flood-affected areas.