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Last Updated: Monday, 4 September 2006, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Flash floods hit Kashmir region
Kashmir floods
Floods are rare in Kashmir region
Scores of villages have been inundated in Indian-administered Kashmir after heavy rains triggered flash floods and landslides in the region.

One person has been killed and at least 200,000 people are affected after flood waters entered a number of villages following breaches in the Jhelum river.

Schools have been shut down and the highway linking the state's capitals, Srinagar and Jammu, closed to traffic.

Correspondents say floods are not unusual in the Kashmir region.

The BBC's Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says that Indian army soldiers have been deployed in many areas to assist the authorities to move stranded people to safe areas.

Officials says 200 villages have been marooned after flood waters entered them.

Worst flooding

Army spokesman Col Hemant Juneja told the Associated Press news agency that soldiers were bringing food to residents of nearly 100 of these villages.

"The situation is grim," flood control official Altaf Baba said.

One person was swept away by the flood waters in Kulgam region, about 70km (45 miles) south of Srinagar, officials told reporters.

They said Anantnag and Pulwama were among the worst affected districts.

The government has shut down schools for two days so they can house people affected by the flooding.

Refusing to leave

Mohammad Dilawar Mir, who was appointed minister of flood control only two days ago, told the BBC that "most of the marooned people are refusing to leave their homes".

He said he has given instructions to officials to take away boats - even forcibly - from those living on the Dal Lake in Srinagar for relief and rescue operations.

Correspondents say Indian-administered Kashmir is facing its worst floods in two decades.

Last week, monsoon rains and floods killed at least 135 people in the Barmer area of the western Indian state of Rajasthan.

Barmer is part of the Thar desert, which receives little rain and is prone to drought.


SEE ALSO
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26 Jul 06 |  South Asia
Millions suffer in Indian monsoon
01 Aug 05 |  South Asia

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