Two people were washed away in flash floods and traffic on the Jammu-Pathankote national highway disrupted for over nine hours as torrential rains threw normal life out of gear in various parts of Kathua district on Friday.
The power and water supplies in Kathua and Hiranagar towns were also disrupted as flood waters entered houses and commercial establishments in various places. The flood water also spilled inside the official residence of Kathua Deputy Commissioner Sanjeev Verma.
Saying that people in large numbers were affected in Kathua town and its outskirts,Verma said he had ordered the closure of all schools in the town for today. He attributed the situation to largescale encroachments by locals which has virtually blocked all outlets draining out water.
Two boys crossing the Wuju nullah at Nagri were washed away due to the sudden flash floods. The body of one of the boys has been recovered. Several Gujjars who stayed along the Tarnah nullah were rescued but their cattle were washed away.
Meanwhile,power supply in the entire Kathua and Hiranagar tehsil got disrupted since the early hours of Friday morning as flash flood water washed away power feeders at various places,besides uprooting several electric poles. Executive Engineer of the Power Development Department,Ramesh Chander,said while it will take time to assess the damage caused to the power supply system,they are trying to restore power supply to Kathua town partially by evening.
In Hiranagar,their staff were unable to reach many places due to the flash floods.
The vehicular traffic on the Jammu-Pathankote national highway also remained closed for over nine hours from 1 am as flash flood waters in a nullah started overflowing on the road near Hiranagar. As a bridge in the area is under construction,long queues of vehicles were seen on both sides.
Traffic could be restored this evening when the water level receded.
All link roads to Billawar,Bani and Basohli in the district were closed due to landslides at various places.