Madhya Pradesh: Bad weather forces two IAF choppers to fly back midway

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday night said bad weather and closure of roads has delayed the arrival of the Army and IAF choppers to launch rescue operations in flood-hit areas in three districts.

He said floods triggered by torrential rains since August 28 have wreaked havoc in more than 394 villages across nine districts of the state.

"Over 7,000 persons were rescued and arrangements to provide them food and shelter are being done," Chouhan said in a video statement issued on his Twitter account.

He said several people have been rescued from the flooded villages in Hoshangabad and Raisen districts.

"Rescue work is underway and those trapped are being safely evacuated," he said.

Chouhan said two helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were scheduled to reach here for launching rescue operations in Hoshangabad, Raisen and Sehore districts but they had to return midway due to inclement weather

"One of the choppers returned to Jhansi while another flew to Nagpur. We have asked for additional helicopters from the IAF," he said.

Chouhan said the operations to rescue stranded people remained affected due to bad weather.

"The operation to airlift trapped people will start in morning (on Sunday)," he said.

Chouhan said the Army has been called in for rescue operations in Hoshangabad, Sehore and Raisen districts but its arrival is getting delayed due to closure of roads in the affected areas.

He said teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) are working in the flood-hit areas.

Chouhan said he would monitor the situation in the state from his office cum "flood control room".

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