Army called as Sutlej breaches in Punjab

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Jalandhar, Aug 16 (UNI) The Army was called in Lohian area under the Shahkot tehsil of the district today following a breach in the 'bundh' (protective wall) on the right bank of the Sutlej river as well as in parts of neighbouring Ferozpur district, which have been affected by flash floods.

According to official reports, the breach occurred around midnight near Gidderpindi village. As many as six to seven villages including Gidderpindi, Manak and Dholla were in 10 to 15 feet of water.

The breach is stated to be around 150 foot wide. Official sources said so far the Army, with the help of motorboats had succeeded in pulling out 30-odd families from the flood affected villages.

A number of small hamlets and farmhouses have also been submerged by the river. Crops in the affected village have been virtually destroyed.

Official sources said as soon as the water started entering the villages, people moved to the roof tops. A few families even moved their cows and buffaloes to safer places. So far no loss of life has been reported.

The rescue operations to pull out the families is being hampered as a number of residents do not want to leave their homes and they have taken shelter on the top of their houses. Rescue operations have also been launched from the left bank of the Sutlej, which flows along the Jalandhar-Ferozpur district border.

Meanwhile the Railways has suspended traffic on the Jalandhar-Ferozpur rail line as a precautionary measure.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today conducted an aerial survey of flood affected areas in Jalandhar, Ferozepur, Tarn Taran and Kapurthala districts to get first hand information about the damage caused due the breach in the Sutlej and the incessant rains in the state over past few days.

While the floods in Shahkot tehsil of Jalandhar have been caused due to the breach in the Sutlej, the floods in the other three districts have been caused due to rains over the last five to six days. The monsoon downpour has resulted in the flooding of low lying areas along the Beas and Sutlej rivers, besides leading to flash floods in rivulets, including the Kali Bein in Kapurthala.

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