Flood Threat Looms Large Over Jammu And Kashmir
River Jhelum in full fury last year
SRINAGAR: Incessant rains sparked fear of floods among the worried residents of the Kashmir Valley with the Jhelum river, which wreaked havoc in the region last year, flowing above the danger mark.
The Jammu and Kashmir government sounded a flood alarm following incessant rains that were expected to hit the Valley over the next two to three days, sparking concern among the people living in low-lying areas and traders, many of whom evacuated their places out of fear.
The Jhelum river was flowing above danger mark of 18 ft on Thursday at Sangam in south Kashmir, touching 27.10 ft mark at 10 am, while the level of water at Ram Munshi Bagh was recorded at 20.3 ft in Srinagar. "Since the rain has stopped, the water level is receding in the river," an official in the state's flood control department said.
A senior officer in the state government said many parts of south Kashmir and capital Srinagar saw heavy water logging, sparking panic among the residents while a village was reportedly submerged in Qazigund, although there were no reports of any loss of life.
However, the weather began to show signs of improvement on Thursday morning with sun coming out at many places, bringing much relief to the people of the Valley who are yet to recover from the aftermath of last year's flood that affected over 4.5 lakh people.
"The main weather system has weakened in the state. There is no possibility of heavy rains in coming 24 hours but some places may get spells of light to moderate rains," Sonam Lotus, chief of Meteorological department in the Valley told The Citizen.
Earlier, a spell of showers at many places in Kashmir on Tuesday evening turned into heavy rain by morning which lasted through the day on Wednesday, swelling Jehlum and causing water-logging in many places of Baramulla, Anantnag, Pulwama and capital Srinagar city as well.
Several localities in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district were submerged in rainwater on Wednesday, witnesses said. The areas, included Lal Chowk, Laizbal, and Bakshi Abad, among others, in the main town. People blamed poor drainage and encroachments on water bodies for the inundation.
The state's education minister, Naeem Akhtar said Thursday there is no threat of flood, "Although there is a huge problem of inundation at many places, there is no threat of flood," Akhtar said.
However, the Vaishaw nallah, which caused immense destruction in last year's flood in south Kashmir, has reportedly washed away many bridges, diversions and inundated farms in Kulgam district on Thursday with the CPI (M) legislator, MY Tarigami, accusing the government of not taking pro-active measures to deal with the situation.