Kolkata: West Bengal and Odisha in the east, and Rajasthan and Gujarat in the west, as well as Manipur in the North-East, continued to reel under heavy floods on Sunday. 

The military and government agencies pitched in with rescue and relief work, as the toll in the rain-hit areas reached 81.

Several parts of Kolkata and large tracts in southern West Bengal remained under water for the third day as rain lashed the region for 48 hours since Friday. Government officials said 48 people have lost their lives in the state, while more than 2 lakh have been displaced and around 50,000 people placed in temporary relief camps till Sunday. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the districts of Murshidabad, Hooghly, Burdwan, Howrah were the worst affected.

In Manipur, rain in the hills along the Indo-Myanmar border made rescue operation in the remote Joumol village of the Chandel district difficult. 

Thirty National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel started their rescue mission in Chandel on Sunday morning. Another 30 were working in the Thoubal district. 

There were contradictory report of rescue of survivors and dead bodies, with no official confirmation either from the state or the Centre till this report was being filed. 

In the West, the Army and Air Force personnel came together in the flood-hit areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat, from restoring railway tracks to rescuing a drowning mother and her baby, and even a dog.

Troops of Southern Command and South Western Command have been involved in rescue operations in flood-affected areas of Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan.

“They have evacuated more than 1,000 people to safer areas and provided relief items such as food, drinking water and medicines and medical cover to over 2,400 people. A total of 28 relief teams, seven medical teams and seven ETFs (Engineer Task Forces) were deployed,” said Army sources.

Of the many stories of bravery that have come out, the act of Havaldar Yousouf stands out as he rescued a drowning mother and her baby in Shervo village, approximately 50 km north of Bhuj in Kutch district of Gujarat. 

In another incident, soldier Sudhir Yadav rescued a dog struggling to survive in the menacing flood water and carried it for 7 km in the waters to safety.

A Union Home Ministry has said 40 lakh people in 14 districts of Gujarat have been affected by the floods. “More than 10 lakh food packets have been air-dropped and distributed to flood victims. Temporary relief camps have been set up in affected areas and people are accommodated on need basis. A total of 17 NDRF teams have been deployed for rescue and relief operations in Gujarat,” said the ministry.

Union Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary has visited the state to assess the situation and oversee rescue and relief work.

In Rajasthan, five people, including four teenage boys, drowned in different parts.  Two minor boys — Mahaveer Singh (12) and Girdhari (14) — drowned when they went to take bath in a pond that had swelled due to rain at Dulmera-station village in the Bikaner district on Saturday, said the Lunkaransar police on Sunday.

The bodies were fished out and handed over to their parents after post-mortem, the police said. Two more boys, identified as Valegopal and Sushil, drowned in the Luni river near Samdadi town of Jodhpur district last evening, said officials, adding that divers were searching for both since Saturday night.

The fifth victim, 35-year-old Bhema Ram, slipped into an overflowing pond yesterday when he went there to observe the water level in Dantiya village in Sirohi district, said a district official. In Delhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was constantly reviewing the flood situation. 

He spoke to Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, asking about the rescue and relief operations in both states. 

He assured of full Central support to overcome the disaster.  Seven districts in Odisha — Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jharsuguda and Deogarh — are affected. 

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