Rainfall ebbs, weather likely to improve today: MET
Srinagar: The administration declared flood in Srinagar and south Kashmir on Thursday after Jhelum crossed the danger mark.
According to an official of the irrigation and flood control, Jhelum flowed at 18.80 feet (flood level is 18 feet) at 9pm on the Ram Munshibagh gauge. At Sangam, the official said, the Jhelum was flowing at the flood mark of 21 feet.
At Asham, the third measuring point—Sangam being the second—in Bandipora district, the official said, the water level of Jhelum was 10.58 feet against the flood level of 13 feet.
Torrential rains since Tuesday have raised water level in all water bodies, especially Jhelum and its tributaries and three important nallahs—Vishaw, Rambiyara and Lidder in south Kashmir. During 2014, these three nallahs had been swelled up to unprecedented levels.
All schools have been closed for three days as rains inundated a large number of areas. The Kashmir University has also postponed its scheduled exams till Monday. The Islamic University at Awantipora also cancelled exams scheduled for Friday.
The surging water levels created panic among the people. Rainwater inundated several low-lying areas, roads and lanes in Srinagar, disrupting pedestrian and vehicular moment.
The Meteorological Department Srinagar has predicted light to moderate rain and snow at most places across Jammu & Kashmir during the next 24 hours and forecasted improvement in weather conditions from Friday morning.
“We have already witnessed decrease in intensity of rainfall from Thursday afternoon and from now onwards state would witnesses light to moderate rainfall but that would be much lesser in intensity,” a MeT official told Kashmir Raeder.
He said that the weather would remain dry for next one week from Saturday across Jammu & Kashmir.
Due to inclement weather, a thin presence of general public including shoppers and roadside vendors was witnessed in Srinagar where people preferred to remain indoors to avoid waterlogged roads and lanes.
The continuous rainfall since Wednesday morning led to the increase of water level in Vishaw in Kulgam, with locals rushing to help the people in moving to safer areas.
According to reports, volunteers of Islami Jamiat e Talaba helped Gujjar nomads in Kulgam’s Maha Gund, Ashmuji area to relocate their cattle away from the banks of Vaishov nallah.
In Kokernag’s Dandipora area, a sumo cab bearing registration number JK03B-6848 plunged into the Bringii nallah. Barring two, the other occupants of the vehicle have been rescued, said Tehsildar Kokernag Raashid Raina.
A landslide at Mawoora Rafting point in Pahalgam closed the road between Anantnag and Pahalgam.
A breach in the embankment at Semthan, Bijbehara and Hassanpora, Arwani was plugged by the personnel of flood and irrigation department.
Several areas of Bandipora district were submerged after rivulets breached at many areas, forcing people to move to safer places.
A few residents of Sonawari told Kashmir the breach in a stream has inundated several residential houses and also blocked Sonawari road.
Many residential areas like Garoora, Hajin and Saderkoot witnessed waterlogging.
The Bandipora-Srinagar road was blocked after rains triggered mudslides at Saderkoot area, which also snapped the 33-kv transmission line.
Several areas of Baramulla district like Khawajabagh, Friends colony, Azadgung, Mainchowk Baramulla, Deluna, Sheeri, Sangrama, Chakla, Nadihal, Janbazpora, Stadiam Colony, Kreeri and few other adjoining areas were inundated due to waterlogging caused by blocked drains.
Three people received injuries when their car bearing number JK05C-1198 came under a poplar tree near Sangrama, Baramulla. The injured were shifted to nearby hospital for treatment.
In Sopore, Model town A, B and C, Sheer Colony, Noorbagh, Chankhan, Seelu, Botengoo, Achabal, Ladoora, Seer Jagir, Andergam, Palpora, while main Pattan town, Palhalan and other villages were inundated by rainwater.
They said that rainwater entered nearly all houses in Sheer Colony Sopore and people were using boats to shift their families to other safer places.
The public and private traffic in three districts of north Kashmir including Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora was also crippled due to the blockage of roads and paths after flood water submerged several roads. At many places, trees were uprooted and fell on the main road. Police cleared the fallen trees.
The cross-LoC trade between divided parts of Kashmir was also suspended by the authorities after landslides hit the road from Salamabad to Kaman Post and across the line of control in Pakistani administration Kashmir.
Markazi Jamia Masjid of Deluna Baramulla was damaged when one of its walls collapsed due to rains. Taseer Afzal, a local resident, said the Mosque was later closed for prayers and people were asked to offer Friday prayers at their local Mosques by Masjid committee, Afzal said.
Reports pouring in from various parts of the area said that many houses developed cracks in Nilsar, Katyanwali, kreeri, Rafiabad and Uri areas.
As many as 100 trees fell along the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad, Baramulla-Kupwara and Sopore roads on Thursday.
Over two dozen structures were damaged in many areas of Handwara due to fallen trees.
Executive Engineer flood control Shopian Sami-ullah Naikoo told Kashmir Reader that Rambiara rivulet is flowing at normal level and there was no incident of flash floods in the district.
Officials from the mechanical department told Kashmir Reader that they have suspended the snow clearance process on Wednesday due to the inclement weather.
“We have stationed our machines in safe zones, employees are also in safe zone,” said Mohammad Ismail Chichi who is in charge of district Anantnag.
Chchi said they have cleared snow on the 32-kilometers stretch of Mughal Road.
“It may take 10 to 15 days more to clear the road because the fresh snowfall might occur,” he said.
The people in Budgam district faced tough time after several of its areas were inundated due to incessant rains. The residents of various areas like Kawoosa, Narbal, Soibug, Russu, Habak, Budgam, Magam, Batpora, and many adjoining areas said dozens of lanes and bylanes were completely inundated due to faulty drainage system.
The inhabitants of Kawoosa area told Kashmir Reader that it was the defunct drainage system that has lead to chaos in their area. When contacted, the officials at the concerned engineering wing said the priority was being given to prevent breaching of Nallah Sukhnag and Farozpora nallah.
“Residents should get in touch with the flood engineering department for dewatering of their areas,” an official at mechanical engineering department said. However most of the officials, when contacted, said they were busy with elections.
Traffic on highway suspended
Senior superintendent of police Sarghum Shukla told Kashmir Reader that no vehicular moment was allowed on the highway on Thursday and any decision would taken once the road is fit for normal traffic.
“We would try to allow stranded vehicles from Jammu to Srinagar to fill up any deficiency of shortage of essential commodities here once the road is fit for traffic,” Shukla said.
The incessant rains and snow disrupted the scheduled flights at Srinagar International Airport.
“As our runway was not ready during the morning, we delayed few of our scheduled flights. But we didn’t cancel any flight on Thursday. Though it seems clear whether tomorrow still normal scheduling of flights would be subjected to fair weather conditions,” the official said.
—With Shafat Mir, Mushtaq Ahmad, Owais Farooqi, Ishfaq Reshi and Raashid Hassan