Vaishaw rages again, dozens of families homeless in Kulgam

ANANTNAG: Over a dozen structures including residential houses, cowsheds and government buildings were damaged in Kulgam district due to flash floods triggered by heavy rains that lashed the Valley from Monday evening until late Wednesday night. The flash floods also washed away hundreds of kanals of paddy and horticulture land and diversions, cutting off several areas from the district and Tehsil headquarters.
The Vaishaw, according to locals, started flowing ferociously since Tuesday morning and, later, at around 5 pm, changed its course through Laisoo village, washing away everything that came in its way. Seven houses, five cowsheds, a ration depot and a school building were reportedly destroyed while around 11 houses suffered partial damage.
Since the people had already evacuated to safer places there was no loss of life.
“When the raging Vaishaw changed its course through the village people had already shifted to safety. Local youths led from the front in evacuating the families and in saving people’s belongings and livestock,” said a local youth, Ishfaq Reshi.
The rush of water also destroyed the paddy crop and orchards on hundreds of kanals of land in the area.
Besides, several diversions near Brazloo , Chamb Gund and Laisoo were also washed, cutting off dozens of villages from the district, block and Tehsil quarters.
A villager , Mohammad Qasim, whose house was washed away said the Vaishaw brought back the memories of last year’s floods.
“Till afternoon people were in their houses praying for the rains to stop but as the rains continued and the river started raging they shifted to safer places,” he said, adding “had people waited for some more time there would been a heavy loss of life.”
DC Kulgam Dr Syed Abid confirmed that over  a dozen residential houses were destroyed in Laisoo village. “The homeless have been accommodated in the houses of their relatives and neighbours and school buildings. A team headed by the additional DC and Tehsildar have been deputed to the village with relief,” he told Kashmir Reader.
He said that besides eatables and  bedding, the government has given some cash to the affected families for Eid celebrations. “The village remains inaccessible. Once there is proper access to the village we will be able to assess the damage properly,” the DC said.
Pertinently, the Vaishaw, during last year’s floods, had caused complete devastation in three villages of the district including Chamgund, Kelam Gund and Arigatnoo. Hundreds of families who were rendered homeless then continue to live in tin sheds or dilapidated government buildings.