Flood situation grim in Jammu & Kashmir
Srinagar: Flood situation worsened on Friday in the Kashmir Valley where River Jhelum was flowing above the danger mark even as the Army and NDRF have been called in to assist the administration in relief and rescue efforts in the state where 20 persons have died while another 45 are feared dead.
Most parts of south Kashmir, including Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam district have been submerged and the water level in Rambiara stream in Shopian district was also rising very fast, threatening to inundate the only south Kashmir district not affected by floods so far, officials said.
“Army has been asked to assist in the relief and rescue operations in submerged areas of south Kashmir and Srinagar city while six companies of NDRF will be arriving here to assist in the operations today,” Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Rohit Kansal said.
He said the NDRF teams will be arriving from Bhatinda in Punjab but bad weather has not allowed the flight to take off so far. “We are hopeful that the weather will improve around afternoon and the aircraft will be able to land,” the official said.
Heavy rains over the past 72 hours in Jammu and Kashmir has resulted in floods in many areas of the state which has so far left 20 persons dead while 45 others are feared dead after a bus carrying them was washed away in Rajouri district on Thursday.
The flood situation in Kashmir Valley has worsened since Thursday as River Jhelum was flowing at 33 feet at Sangam in Anantnag district, 12 feet above the danger mark, officials said.
Jhelum in Srinagar is flowing at 22.40 feet, 4.40 feet above danger mark, as many areas in the summer capital of the state have been submerged.
Doodh Ganga stream, which flows through southern part of the city, has breached the embankments at several places, flooding the residential areas.
People in many areas have either shifted out of the submerged areas or moved to the first floor of their homes, the officials said.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah supervised the rescue and relief operation till late last night at Barzulla and adjacent areas to evacuate people from submerged areas.
Officials said the threat of floods has increased in north Kashmir region after River Jhelum breached the danger mark of 14 feet at Asham in Bandipora district. People have been evacuated from some areas of Bandipora.
The Sindh nallah in Ganderbal district is also flowing above the danger mark while the water level in streams and rivulets in Budgam district is also rising fast.
There has been no respite from the rains which began on Tuesday as the heavy downpour continued through the night.
Standing crops like paddy and horticulture crops worth thousands of crores have been damaged due to the floods. The exact quantum of loss will be known only after the flood situation eases.
Schools and colleges across the state have been closed till Monday while Universities in Kashmir have suspended all work for two days.
The Chief Minister has given strict directions to the administration for taking all measures to safeguard the human lives.
An official spokesman said the Chief Minister supervised rescue and relief operation.
“The Chief Minister remained with rescue teams while the patients and inmates of Barzulla Hospital were evacuated from the hospital to the safer places and people from other submerged areas rescued. The rescue operation continued throughout the night,” the spokesman said.
The Chief Minister also visited Channapora, Natipora, Padshahibagh and Bemina areas in the night hours.
Omar directed the administration to make safety of people first priority while conducting rescue operations.
The Chief Minister has also directed for establishing shelter camps for the affected families and providing food, blankets, medicines and other items to them.
While six persons were killed in Kashmir Valley due to floods, 14 persons died in Jammu division. A bus carrying nearly 50 people, mostly members of a marriage party, was washed off in flash floods of Gambhir river in Rajouri district in Jammu region.
As many as 45 people are being feared dead in the incident.