A 24-year-old Indian student has died after he nearly drowned in a swollen lake in the US state of Texas where Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc. Nikhil Bhatia, a student at the Texas A&M University, was rescued from the Lake Bryan, where he along with another Indian girl Shalini Singh had gone swimming, on Saturday. Bhatia succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday while Singh continues to be in a critical condition, according to the Consulate officials, who were in regular touch with the family members in hospital and in India.
Bhatia, originally from Jaipur, along with his friend Singh, 25, from New Delhi, was pursuing Masters in Public Health. Both were brought to the local hospital in a critical condition. According to their friends and some witnesses, the two were swimming in the lake. A sudden current of water pushed them deeper and the students noticed that they were in distress and flagged down nearby police officers.
Bryan Police officers were able to rescue and provide CPR to the victims until medics arrived, according to Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson. It wasn’t immediately clear why they were swimming during severe weather.
Consul General of India in Houston has been monitoring their medical needs and situation closely. According to the consulate office, Bhatia’s mother Dr Suman Bhatia has already arrived and was assisted by consulate office amidst devastating flood situations here after receiving her at Dalals airport.
Around 13 million people were battling “catastrophic” flooding and torrential rains in the storm-ravaged Texas where Hurricane Harvey has wreaked havoc, turning streets into raging rivers and claiming at least nine lives. Meteorologists have forecast that the historic rainfall will dump up to 50 inches by tomorrow. Heavy rain bands were expected to move in over the Houston area overnight, which will continue the catastrophic and life-threatening flash-flood emergency in the area.
At least 200 Indian students stranded at the University of Houston due to the flooding after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas were being evacuated to safer places, authorities have said. The students were being provided food and other supplies by the Indian-American community in the area.
India’s Consul-General in Houston Anupam Ray has been in touch with the students and monitoring the evacuation process. Hundreds of Indian students, who were stranded in their homes and ran out of food, are being helped by the consulate.
Ray said members of the Indian graduate students’ organisations had reached out to him through Facebook last night. Despite all roads being inundated with water and closed for traffic, Ray personally went to the apartment complex where more than 250 Indian students were stranded.
According to local community leaders, at least 100,000 of Indian-Americans live in and around Houston area have been badly hit by the hurricane.