Jhelum swells, sets alarm bells ringing in Kashmir

Srinagar: Kashmir Valley remained on the edge on Monday as the water level in the Jhelum kept on rising due to incessant rains. The water level was at touching distance of ‘alarm mark’ of 18-ft in south Kashmir’s Sangam gauge at 9 p.m.

“The water level recorded was at 17.43ft and as soon it crosses 21-ft mark, flood alert is declared,” said an official of Irrigation & Flood Control Department. Flood is declared when water level breaches 25-ft.

At Ram Munshi Bagh in Srinagar, the water was 15.35-ft against the alarm level of 18 ft and flood level of 21 feet, the officials said.

At Asham in northern Kashmir’s Bandipora district, the official said, the Jhelum level was at 9.2ft, almost 5-ft when flood alarm is sounded.

Regarding some tributaries, the official said, the water level in Vishow Nallah at Khudwani was 7.66m, 1.78m in Rambiyara Nallah at Wachi while the nallah Lidder at Batkoot was at 0.46m.

Several areas of Bemina, one of the worst hit areas of Srinagar during once in a century floods in 2014, submerged.

Reports said the water from flood channel has seeped inside residential areas.
Meanwhile, the department has urged people not to panic and remain “calm”.

“Please remain calm, there is no need to panic and don’t pay any heed to rumours,” the official added.

In the related development, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr. Bilal Mohi-Ud-Din Bhat, who is also the Chairman District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), chaired a meeting of concerned officers to review the flood control and mitigation preparations in the district.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Ashish Mishra was also present in the meeting.
At the outset, the DC stressed on utmost coordination among line departments and formulating an efficient plan to ensure prompt response to any flood like situation in the district.

He directed the officers to remain in the state of readiness by mobilising men and machinery on ground particularly at vulnerable spots to avoid any loss to human lives or property damages.

The DC laid emphasis on round the clock monitoring of vulnerable flood prone areas and ensuring timely dissemination of information among the people viz. flood alerts, evacuation points/centres, transportation plans, etc., so that people are updated about the evacuation/rescue plans well in time. He directed the concerned Officers to focus on the identified vulnerable spots so that rapid action is ensured in case of need or to arrest embankment breach, if any.

The DC further directed the concerned departments to formulate rescue plans, identify safe control room locations and also prepare a backup plan. He asked for strengthening communication with the ground level staff and people during any emergency so that people do not panic and get actual information about rescue measures and places available for the public.

The CMO was directed to ensure that important machinery/ medicines at health institutions are kept at safer places in all the Health Institutions.
He was also asked for evolving proper SoPs to deal with the floods as like the ‘Code Blue’ being followed in Hospitals, where every concerned individual is fully acquainted with their responsibilities in the times of emergency.

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