South Bay family to help relatives in flooded Kashmir

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Last month, monsoon rains and flash floods devastated Kashmir. And now, a South Bay family is heading there to help relatives struggling after the disaster hit.

A million people are impacted, hundreds have died, and villages are still under water. Catastrophic floods hit Kashmir last month. And now a South Bay family, with 40 to 50 relatives struggling with the monsoons, is trying to help by flying to the country.

Much of Munir and Yasmeen's hometown is covered in mud and flood water.

"In my own home, still under water 8 to 10 feet and the slush or mud is between 4 to 5 feet," said Munir Butt.

Monsoon rains and flash floods devastated Srinagar and other cities last month. It was the worst natural disaster in a century. People waited days to be rescued.

"Similar to Katrina, people were actually tweeting from their cellphones that they were stuck on their third or fourth floors of their homes," said San Jose resident Bushra Ahmad.

Ahmad's uncle was trapped on his roof for four days before help arrived. The painful stories of family and friends suffering has been hard to bear from so far away.

"They found three bodies -- a husband, and a wife, and their 12-year-old daughter, all holding hands, all of them dead," said a teary Munir.

But now, they're doing something about it.

Munir, Yasmeen, and Bushra leave Monday for Kashmir. They're filling their suitcases with donated warm clothes and medicine. They also plan to buy more supplies once they land to give away.

"I don't know physically how much I can work, but I want to help people regain emotionally," said Yasmeen.

Yasmeen is a mental health social worker in San Jose. Even she knows what she finds in Kashmir could be devastating because right now, people are desperate. And with the freezing winter months coming, the fear is the death toll will only rise.

To donate to Helping Hand's Kashmir Valley Flood Relief Fund 2014, click here.
Related Topics:
weatherflash floodingfloodingraindisasterindiapakistanu.s. & worldSan Jose
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