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Flood threat continues to haunt Kashmir ‘Next 24 hours crucial’: Sonam Lotus

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Heavy rains lashed Jammu and Kashmir, including the summer capital Srinagar on Wednesday, triggering a flood threat across the Valley yet again. The Meteorological department predicted no improvement in weather till April 3 (Friday).

MeT Director Sonam Lotus told news agency Kashmir News Trust that moderate to heavy rains will continue to lash Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh regions till Friday. “There is a precipitation due to interaction between the currents and Western Disturbances prevalent over all three regions of the State,” he said adding that the next 24 hours are going to be crucial.

Lotus said that rainfall with such intensity during the month of March was only recorded in 1983 and this time in the month of March Kashmir has witnessed 300mm of rainfall.

The water in Jhelum at Sangam, Ram Munshi Bagh, and Asham Sumbal receded however in North Kashmir’s Sopore and Baramulla towns the water level has been showing an upward trend. The incessant rains, which threw life out of gear across Kashmir, also triggered a flood alert in North Kashmir areas. Several houses in Maharaj Pora, Watlab Ghat, Takiabal Ghat, Sher Colony, and Haritar in Sopore town were submerged in water.

“We have issued a flood alert for Sopore and asked the people living along the banks of River Jehlum to move to safer places. The level of Jehlum in Sopore is increasing. We have made all arrangements and are ready to meet any eventuality,” SDM Sopore Dr Nasir told KNT adding the situation is being monitored closely.

Chief Engineer Flood and Irrigation Control Javid Jaffer said the situation in Srinagar is being closely monitored “There has been no increase in water levels in rivers,” he said.

At least two houses collapsed due to water logging at Lal Bazar and Narbal. Water logging according to reports has been turning out a major concern for the people. Many areas in Srinagar were inundated Wednesday due to heavy rains, disrupting normal life across the summer capital. These included Safa Kadal, Eidgah, Nowshehra, Soura, Ali Jan Road, Gulshan Nagar, Gogji Bagh, Wazir Bagh, Jawahar Nagar, Rajbagh and Bemina. At various places, water spilled from drains and flood channels entered the residential houses. The business establishments and government offices including Pollution Control Board, Wild Life, and Cooperative Bank in Raj Bagh are completely waterlogged.

Baramulla police shifted five families during the night comprising of 37 souls at village Dangerpora, relocated and shifted to their relatives’ houses in the same village.

Shopian police shifted the family of Mohammad Anwar Ganie son of Fatah Ganie resident of D.K Pora, Zainapora to a safer place as their residential house collapsed.

At least members of a family were evacuated in the village Malas of Tehsil Mahore to safer places by Gool-based Rashtriya Rifles men.

Reports said many people living around the banks of the Nallah and river Jehlum in South, Central, and North Kashmir were evacuated and shifted to safer places.

“ All the evacuated persons have been shifted and adjusted in schools and other government buildings,” an official said.

In Uri town of Baramulla district, authorities closed the road and didn’t allow any vehicle to cross the NS Bridge after a minor landslide. However, the road was cleared after three hours for the traffic.

The administration has again asked people living on the banks of Jhelum to shift to safer places. An official said that with no respite in rainfall, a flood threat is still looming.

Reports of damages to residential houses and cowsheds were received from various areas all across Kashmir.

In the Tral area of Pulwama district, the administration evacuated hundreds of people from Chanakatar after the earth starts sinking.

In Shopian, the water level of Rambiara Nallah is static however, reports said several villages were submerged.

Incessant rains also caused water-logging in all major towns of South Kashmir including Anantnag, Bijbehara, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian, Kakpora, Rajpora, Awantipora, Pampore, and others, causing problems for pedestrians and also hampering the movement of traffic.

Heavy rainfall resulted in the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway for the most part of the day, officials of the Traffic department said here. An official advised people to confirm the status of the highway on Thursday before proceeding towards Jammu or Srinagar.

An official spokesman said Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed is personally monitoring the situation that has arisen due to incessant rain in the State. “ The Chief Minister has put the State Administration on high alert, directing them to be at the beck and call of the people wherever required,” he said.

Chief Minister has directed the Divisional Commissioners to place senior officers on alert for monitoring the situation and initiate all necessary measures to safeguard the people. He directed them to keep control rooms operational round-the-clock so that there is close contact between the people and the concerned officers.

“Mufti Muhammad Sayeed received a brief from the administration about the situation in Kulgam, Shopian, Baramulla, Srinagar, and other areas. He said that rescue operations on war footing should be carried out wherever the need arises,” the official said. [KNT]

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