US: 2 Indian students nearly drown in lake amid Hurricane Harvey, critical

PTI  | Deccan Chronicle

World, America

India's Consul-General in Houston has been monitoring the two students' medical needs and the situation closely.

This aerial photo shows a view of damage in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Harvey hit the coast as a Category 4 hurricane. (Photo: AP)

Houston: Two Indian students are in a critical condition after they nearly drowned in Lake Bryan in the US state of Texas, which is battling "catastrophic"
flooding and torrential rains after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc, claiming at least five lives.

The Indians, studying at the Texas A&M University, are in a critical condition. They were rescued from the lake, where they had gone swimming, by a police officer on Saturday. According to the Bryan police, an officer patrolling the lake was flagged down by a person who said two people swimming in the lake were in distress.

The person who alerted the officer was with the two students, both in their 20s. He had managed to rescue one of them, while the police officer rescued the other one and treated both of them with CPR until medical help arrived, the police said.

The students were identified as Shalini, and Nikhil Bhatia. They were taken to the CHI St. Joseph Hospital, where their condition is stated to be critical. It was not immediately clear as to why they were swimming in the severe weather.

India's Consul-General in Houston has been monitoring the two students' medical needs and the situation closely. According to the consulate office, Nikhil Bhatia is yet to show signs of improvement, while Shalini showed some improvement today for the first time since her arrival at the hospital.

Nikhil's mother, Dr. Suman Bhatia, has arrived from India and was assisted by the consulate office amidst the devastating flood situations here after being received at the Dallas airport. Whereas, Shalini's brother will be arriving tomorrow, the consulate said.

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 five lives. 

Meteorologists have forecast that the historic rainfall will dump up to 50 inches by Wednesday. 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 are stranded at the University of Houston due to "catastrophic" 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.