20 Mar 2007

PR# 2007-206

ISAF forces continue rescue of flood victims

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – The flooding reported yesterday in the Helmand River Valley within Deh Rawod District, Uruzgan Province has been met by a swift response from ISAF forces.

ISAF forces have evacuated approximately 350 villagers thus far. 

ISAF ground forces and helicopter support carried the marooned local people to safety.  Poor weather earlier yesterday initially hampered rescue attempts; however, helicopters landed where possible to rescue villagers. In some cases ISAF had to persuade frightened people to accept their help to hoist them out of danger.

The air operation was conducted while weather and light conditions allowed.  Rescue efforts were restarted at first light today.

This morning, three Dutch Cougars helicopters are once again in the air above the Helmand River. Two platoons of Dutch troops stayed near the river last night with the Afghan people they rescued. The troops were able to give the stranded locals shelter, food and medical assistance.

Today ISAF forces will try to deliver the aid from the Afghan Red Cross based in Tarin Kowt to the Deh Rawood area.  At present the main problem with delivering the aid by road is a crossing over the Helmand River, which is flooded in several areas.

“ISAF provided aid quickly despite the poor weather conditions,” said Sqn Ldr Dave Marsh ISAF Regional Command South Spokesman.  “It’s with a great sense of community that we offered this assistance.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/