• Water level at Sangam 22.5 feet, at Ram Munshi Bagh 14.34 feet
• Weather likely to improve from today: Met
• Heavy rains trigger landslides along Srinagar-Jammu highway
Srinagar, June 29:
The government Friday declared floods in parts of south Kashmir and flood alert in Srinagar as the water levels continued to increase in Jhelum due to the incessant rains that lashed Jammu Kashmir since Wednesday evening.
As per the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Kashmir, due to continuous rains for the past two days, the gauge at Sangam crossed the flood declaration level of 21 feet at 7 pm.
The department warned people residing along the embankments of Jhelum, nallas and low-lying areas of south Kashmir to remain vigilant.
“The Lidder nallah, Vaisho nallah including the Sangam have crossed the danger level. After crossing the 21 feet mark, we are declaring floods,” Chief Engineer Mir Muhammad Shahnawaz said.
He said they had already asked people to remain cautious.
“We have already deputed the staff on the ground and they are continuously monitoring the water levels at different places,” Shahnawaz said.
Meanwhile, the gauge reading of Jhelum has been rising consistently.
At 7 pm, Jhelum at Sangam recorded 22.05 feet while the gauge reading at Ram Munshi Bagh at around same time was recorded as 14.34 feet and the gauge reading at Asham around the same time was recorded as 5.16 feet.
The local MeT department has also issued an alert, indicating floods, landslide in slopy areas.
“There are chances of flashfloods, minor floods and water logging in low lying areas. People are requested to remain calm but vigilant. To remain prepared is better,” Director Meteorological Department Sonam Lotus said.
He said there was a gradual decrease in rainfall and weather was likely to improve from June 30.
“But from July 2 and 3, there will again be heavy rainfall. So it is better to remain vigilant and prepared,” Lotus said.
As per the Metrological department, Leh has recorded 4.5 mm rains, Phalagam 58 mm, Chandanwari 22mm, Anantnag 76 mm, Panjtarni 82 mm, Srinagar 22 mm, Baltal 11 mm, Batote 117.6mm, Ramban 93 mm, Pulwama 42 mm, Gund 68 mm, Jammu 46 mm, Kathua 20 mm.
“It has been raining continuously since 27 June night in most parts of Jammu Kashmir regions. South and East Kashmir including the hilly areas of Jammu region received heavy rainfall. So there is a significant increase in the water levels in nallahs and rivers,” Lotus said.
He said there was an increased chance of potential flood and landslide in vulnerable areas as well.
Heavy rains have also triggered landslides at some places along the nearly Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only all-weather road link connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country.
Superintendent of Police (SP), Rural Traffic Kashmir, Muzaffar Ahmed Shah said traffic was plying smoothly on the highway.
“Landslides were triggered at different places on the highway which caused inconvenience. But we have been continuously clearing the road so that traffic movement would is not affected,” Shah said.
Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) also claims to have started the dewatering process but many localities in the city still remain inundated which include Khanyar, Fateh Kadal, Baba Demb, Batamaloo interiors, and Jahangir Chowk.
The residents said they were facing immense hardships as their areas were getting submerged and appealed authorities to look into the matter at the earliest.
“Whenever there is water logging in several areas including the low-lying areas of the city, all the dewatering pumps are on the job. There are several places in the city that suffer water logging because of the old drainage system,” said Superintending Engineer Imtiyaz Ahmad Qazi, who handles the City drainage. “All low-lying areas are being dewatered manually or by employing dewatering pumps.”
According to the officials, besides sucker machines and mobile pumps, the entire concerned sanitation staff has been pressed into service since early morning.
“Dewatering exercise which is personally being monitored by Commissioner SMC Riyaz Ahmed Wani is being carried out in inundated areas including Hari Singh High Street, Lal Chowk, Batamaloo, Jehangir Chowk, Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar and other areas,” officials said.
They said all the dewatering stations including mobile pumps had been kept operational.
Meanwhile, the control room was already activated and the general public can contact helpline 2474499 to report submergence from their concerned areas.
SHAFAT MIR reports from Anantnag
Incessant rainfall swelled all the rivers in the south Kashmir region as water level increased in other feeding sources of River Jhelum river, Vaishaw (Kulgam), Aaripat (Shangus), Lidder (Pahalgam), Rambiara (Shopian), Tongri, Romshi Nallah (Pulwama), Brengi (Kokernag) Sandran (Qazigund), Veth Vethustu (Verinag-Dooru), Aripal (Tral) and other nallas.
The authorities ordered evacuation in the villages near the low-lying areas and asked the people to move toward safer places.
Due to heavy rains, several diversions over rivers in Kulgam district have been washed away, cutting off many villages from the district headquarters.
These diversions were constructed following washing away of many bridges in 2014 floods.
Vaishaw Nallah, originating from Kousar Nag through Aharbal area of Kulgam district, whose waters became major reason of 2014 floods due to heavy discharge into river Jhelum at Sangam, was flowing over the danger mark since Friday morning.
Diversion at Ashtal Kulgam was washed away due to heavy rains in the morning while another diversion between Adigan and D H Pora was swept away due to heavy rains since last 36 hours.
The Sadura Bridge in the outskirts of Anantnag district, constructed last year, has been damaged by overflowing waters from Sandran river.
165 students rescued in Shopian, 6 in Jammu
Meanwhile, Jammu Kashmir Police has set up helplines in Anantnag and Kulgam districts of south Kashmir for the general public to provide any assistance required in view of the incessant rainfall at these districts.
J&K Police hs advised the general public to contact helpline Anantnag on 9596777669 and 9419051940 and helpline Kulgam on 01931260486, 7051510660 in case of any assistance required.
Meanwhile, Jammu Kashmir Police said with the help SDRF, it rescued 165 students of Government Boys School Hirpora, Shopian who were trapped in the deluge because of flood in river.
Six persons trapped in river Tawi because of flashfloods were also rescued by a team of SDRF and Civil Defence in Jammu.