Srinagar: Describing the current floods in the state as the worst in 109 years, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the government will reach out to all people for rescuing them and then rehabilitate them.
Acknowledging the anger and frustration of those affected by the disaster that struck the state four days ago, he maintained that the state authorities as well as the armed forces were doing everything to help those in distress.
Rejecting criticism that the administration was not prepared or had not reached all the affected people, Omar said nobody could plan for an unpredicable crisis and all efforts were being made to first rescue all.
"We are doing whatever we can do in tackling the worst crisis the state has faced in living memory...In this crisis situation, our first priority is to rescue people. Rehabilitation and other things come later," he said.
When told about the anger among the people over not getting enough help from the administration, the Chief Minister said, "I can understand their anger and pain. It is not wrong on their part. I don't blame them. It is a crisis of unpredictable proportion. Whatever is possible and whatever is in my capacity we will do.
"I know people have lost their belongings, farmers have lost their rice crops. My effort will be to make them stand on their own feet again.."
On the rescue operations, Omar said he was not bothered about who gets the credit whether it is the state or the centre.
He said it is the combined effort and added that what matters is whether help reaches the needy -- whether it is NDRF, army, air force or the police -- none of whom can operate without the other.
The Chief Minister said since yesterday the state government helicopters had rescued 600 people, which he acknowledged was a drop in the ocean and massive efforts were needed.
The number of those rescued will be in five figures, he said.
"But I cannot pull out my assets to rescue my family members.. I have not been able to contact my two uncles...I am using assets to reach to the people.. Whoever can be rescued, will be rescued, sooner or later," he said.
He said the efforts to rescue will be intensified in the next two-three days.
He said he has requested the centre for ferrying more fuel, petrol and diesel, as there was tremendous need for it.
In this regard, he said more helicopters were pressed into service today.
Omar said while initial focus was on rescue, supply of relief material like food and tents had started since yesterday.
He said there was a problem in setting up big rehabilitation centres because schools were also submerged.