At least six people, including four children and a woman, were killed on Wednesday as rain and flash floods caused havoc in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir, throwing normal life out of gear. The situation compelled the Jammu & Kashmir government to sound flood alert in many districts of the Valley on the same day. The government also announced closure of all the schools in the Valley.
Incessant rain since Tuesday triggered landslides and flash floods and also led to the swelling of major streams and rivulets.
According to sources, five members of a nomadic Gujjar family, including four children and a woman, died after their dhoks, or temporary shelters for summer months in highland pastures, collapsed following landslides at Chasana in Reasi district on Wednesday afternoon. Another person was washed away in Poonch following flash floods in Betar nullah and Suran river, which also damaged as many as 40 residential, official and commercial structures.
Power supply and telecommunication services were also disrupted, while vehicular movement was suspended following extensive damage to roads and bridges at various places.
Several bridges were washed away in South Kashmir where more than 35 families have been evacuated after water of a nearby stream entered the village.
“Police rescued eight families consisting 37 members, including children, when they were trapped in flood in Birigam, Devsar in South Kashmir,” an official said. “Rescue operation is still on, with all the top officers monitoring the situation.”
The authorities have directed all the zonal flood committees to monitor the situation carefully.
The Meteorological department officials said more rain is expected in the next few days across the Valley. “ Till September 6 we are expecting rain in the Valley,” director of metrological department Sanam Lotus said.
In Srinagar city the administration said it was monitoring the water level of Jhelum. “We are monitoring the situation very carefully and so far the water level is one foot below the danger mark,” deputy commissioner of Srinagar Farooq Ahmad said. “There will be improvement in the situation in case rain stops.”