Kashmir Floods
People stranded on a bridge that was washed away in the floodReuters

Residents of Jammu and Kashmir have been sending out SOS messages as they continue to remain trapped in the worst floods to hit the state in more than 50 years, which has claimed the lives of over 170 people so far.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the floods a 'National Disaster', and has announced ₹1000 crore aid fund for the rain-battered state. The government will send out 100,000 blankets, 5,000 tents and 50 tonnes of milk powder to be distributed to those displaced by the floods.

Talking to the media after conducting a survey, Modi said that he was also ready to offer help to the Pakistan government to help those trapped in floods in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

"This is a humanitarian crisis, and India will not hesitate from doing work of humanity. Our government will offer all help to those affected in the PoK region," Modi said.

About 13,000 people have been rescued so far, as the Indian Army and the Air Force sprung into action, even as thousands still await rescue. Several of the army cantonments were also submerged, and the IAF evacuated 180 jawans from border posts.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also stepped in, and has sent in seventy boats and five teams.

What has worsened the crisis for those trapped is the loss of connectivity, as phone connections are down.

People are trapped in upper floors and rooftops of buildings in marooned areas, and there are reports of three hospitals, including a children's hospital, being submerged.

Reports of elderly couples trapped, families stuck in homes, nearly 200 trapped in a girls hostel of the government medical college, and scores of others stranded have emerged as relatives and families have been sending out emotional SOS messages to the media. Several of the rescue messages along with details and contact numbers have been posted by NDTV.

Many residents are also using social media to send out calls for help, posting details on Twitter and Facebook.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah sent out assurances through the media and through Twitter to those stuck. "This is an unprecedented situation & we are doing the best we can under the circumstances. Please don't panic, we will reach you, I promise," he tweeted.

Several netizens are also using the Internet to collate information about relief reuiqrements and support and compiling rescue requests from social media, as being done on the website jkfloodrelief.org.

Helpline Numbers:

New Delhi Jammu & Kashmir House 011-24611210, 24611108;

Srinagar 0194-2452138; and Jammu 0191-2560401.

Home ministry's control room in New Delhi: (011) 23093054, 23092763, 23093564, 23092923, 23092885, 23093566, 23093563.

Updates: Indian Navy Also Steps In

The Indian Navy has stepped into rescue efforts in flood-ravaged Jammu and Kahsmir, augmenting rescue operations by the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force which have managed to rescue about 20,000 people, as per an official tweet from the Army.

The Navy has already rescued about 200 people who were stranded on the Srinagar-Sopore highway. 

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