In Northern India monsoon floodwaters have affected more than a million people, inundating villages and destroying crops .
In Northern India monsoon floodwaters have affected more than a million people, inundating villages and destroying crops . Troops have been working desperately to prevent dams being breached.
SYNOPSIS: The Indian authorities said that at least 40 villages had been submerged by the torrential rains, in the state of Haryana.
At the same time in the neighbouring state of Delhi troops worked round the clock to strengthen an embankment which was in danger of being breached. Several hundred villages protected by the embankment were in danger of being flooded.
A thousand soldiers and 40 officers set up camp near the Dhansa embankment equipped with 80 heavy lorries and two bulldozers.
Later the situation became so dangerous that the troops were reinforced by 500 men from the Delhi Armed police. Officials said the level of the embankment would have to be raised three feet (91 cms) to be safe. They estimated that the job could be completed within three days but faced the risk that they wouldn't be able to keep up with the floodwaters.
Villagers still able to wade through the water could consider themselves lucky. In places the waters were ten to 14 feet (three to four metres) deep and more than one hundred and twenty five thousand acres (101, 171 hectares) of agricultural land was inundated, destroying many crops.
Industrial areas were affected as well and many factories had to close down completely. Until the floodwaters receded no accurate estimate of damage could be made, although it was almost certain that some lives had been lost. There were reports that villagers had found the bodies of five women who drowned while they were cutting grass.
In one area about 20,000 Oxen and cattle had to be evacuated from their flooded quarters to dry land.