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20 killed in JK floods; 45 more feared dead as bus washed away

Flash floods in Poonch

Flash floods in PoonchJammu: The toll in the incessant rains and flash floods in Jammu and Kashmir today rose to 20, even as 45 others were feared dead after a bus carrying them was washed away in Rajouri district.

Meanwhile, over 45 people went missing after a bus carrying a marriage party was washed away in flash floods in Gambhir river in Rajouri district while crossing the Laam-Darhal-Moushera Road, according to an Army officer.

The fresh causalities were reported from Poonch district where three persons were washed away, while two women lost their lives in Reasi district, police said.

Army Sepoy Balbir Singh was washed away during a rescue operation in Poonch, they said.

A BSF officer    was buried alive yesterday in the district which was hit by landslides triggered by flash floods.

The state government issued a red alert in Jammu region where most of the rivers are flowing above danger mark.

As many as 128 people have been rescued in various areas by Army teams, taking the total number of those evacuated since yesterday to 236, a Defence spokesman said.

Apart from BSF officer Inspector Mohammad Rashid, two persons were killed in Poonch and five others, including three children, lost their lives in Reasi district yesterday.

Over 100 houses and buildings have suffered damage in Rajouri and Udhampur districts, official reports said.

Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained closed along with several inter-districts road in Doda, Ramban, Rajouri and Poonch districts due to floods, the reports added.

Some Vaishnodevi pilgrims were injured in landslides in the Trikuta Hills in Reasi district, officials said.

Authorities have ordered closure of all educational institutions today and tomorrow in Poonch and Rajouri districts.

A control room has been set up at Ramban district headquarters and all Sub-Divisional Magistrates and Tehsildars have been asked not to leave their headquarters.

District authorities in Rajouri have asked people not to venture near swollen rivers.

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