Union minister Sushma Swaraj today tweeted that 200 Indian students have been trapped in Houston — one of the biggest cities in the US — which is witnessing devastating floods after Hurricane Harvey, one of the worst storms in decades, hit the area last week.
In a series of tweets the foreign minister, who is known for her prompt interventions, said every effort is being made to rescue the students. She said she is in touch with the Consul General of India in Houston, Anupam Ray, who is in charge of the rescue operations.
The students, the minister said, are at the campus of the University of Houston, an area under neck-deep water. The US Coast Guard did not allow India to send them food and other relief material, as boats are needed to reach the affected areas, she said.
Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall on Friday, has been the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years. The authorities say the region has witnessed a year’s worth of rain in just one week. Two persons have died in the resulting floods. The local media reported that the authorities expect the toll to rise as the storm triggers tidal surges and tornadoes.
The locals in Houston and other areas of Texas have been asked not to leave their flooded homes as the roads are deep under water and completely impassable.
The local media reported that over the weekend, there have been 1000 calls for rescues. Most people have been forced to take refuge in rooftops or higher grounds. Around 30,000 people will shelter, the state authorities have said.