External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said nearly 200 Indian students at the University of Houston were stranded in the floods in the city triggered by Hurricane Harvey. Consul General of India in Houston Anupam Ray later said they were safe, and that they were making arrangements for food.
So far, two people have died in the most powerful storm to hit the state of Texas in 50 years.
Earlier on Monday, Swaraj said she was in touch with Ray, who had made arrangements to rescue the students. “They are surrounded by neck-deep water,” Swaraj had said on Twitter. “We made efforts for delivery for food, but the United States Coast Guard did not allow us to use the boats as they were meant for rescue operations.”
The minister further said that two Indian students, Shalini and Nikhil Bhatia, had been hospitalised. “We are ensuring that their relatives reach there at the earliest,” she added.
The US National Weather Service said parts of Houston had received 30 cm of rain in the past 48 hours. The flooding has led several offshore refineries to close and reduced US refining capacity by 11%.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump is set to visit Houston on Tuesday, a White House spokesperson said. Dallas is turning its main convention center into a “mega-shelter” that can host 5,000 evacuees, CNN reported.