Maharashtra death toll reaches 118, Surat continues to battle flood
New Delhi, Aug 9 (UNI) The death toll in Maharashtra due to flood today reached 118 with 79 people still missing and over 3.5 lakh people had been evacuated to safer places.
In the meantime, AICC President Sonia Gandhi and Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil visited Andhra Pradesh for an aerial survey of flood-ravaged state.
Ms Sonia Gandhi saw the havoc created by Godavari river in Khammam district where several villages were still water-logged from a helicopter.
Ms Gandhi, accompanied by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, interacted with some of the flood victims.
The floods had affected 23 districts in Maharashtra.
A contingent of 11 army columns along with 22 boats, six boats of navy and expert divers team, apart from 54 boats which the government had made available last year to various districts, are working to rescue the people from the low-lying and waterlogged areas.
Even as the situation remains grim in the rest of Maharashtra, Mumbai and Konkan remained normal.
Heavy rains had so far claimed 22 lives in Jalgaon district and 15,000 people had been evacuated to safer places Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, along with Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, did an aerial survey of the flood-affected district this morning but could not land at Chopda since it was raining heavily.
In Gujarat, Surat city was thrown out of gear as water level rose further in low-lying areas, while newer areas got flooded as Tapti river had swollen further since last night as also sea-water from Arabian sea was increasing due to fullmoon nights.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi appealed to people to generously donate food, water and other possible aids to help the adminstration in relief and rescue operationis.
Army helicopters and boats were working overtime to help the thousands marooned.
Meanwhile, The Western Railway cancelled several trains and halted some others at several places along their routes as the rain waters submerged the railway tracks.
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