Flood Alert in Kashmir; landslides shut J&K Highway

RSTV Bureau

Kashmir_flood2A night after the state authorities declared flood alert in South Kashmir, the water level in river Jhelum crossed the danger mark at Sangam in south Kashmir early Thursday morning. The situation is acutely monitored with most parts of the valley receiving incessant rains for more than a day now. The MeT department has predicted more rains over next 48 hours in the region.

Late yesterday night, the authorities had declared flood alert for Anantnag and Pulwama districts in south Kashmir.

“Flood alert has been declared for Anatnag and Pulwama districts as river Jhelum is flowing at 22 feet at Sangam, one feet below the danger mark,” Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Javed Jaffer had told the press late on Wednesday night.

But the water level at Sangam rose to 25.30 feet at 3 am on Wednesday, 2.30 feet above the danger mark according to the officials. The water level in Jhelum and its tributaries rose sharply following heavy rainfall since Wednesday.

With the reports of some low lying areas in southern Kashmir getting submerged due to rise in water levels and incessant rains, the divisional authorities have now sounded out to the people living in and around the flood prone areas in the two districts of Anantnag and Pulwama to shift to the safer areas.

Meanwhile, the state authorities ordered the closure of Jammu and Kashmir highway in the morning after landslides were reported at several places between Banihal and Peera sectors. Over 200 vehicles are reported to be stranded at various places en route the highway, due to the landslides.

According to the police officials, several passengers had a narrow escape after landslides, triggered by heavy rains, buried some vehicles on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and ultimately resulted in its blockade. Landslides were also reported at Gungroo, Panthal, Khoni Nallah, Seri Karole and Peera on the highway. The sliding of rocks and stones from mountain tops are reported in other stretches of the highway as well.

Though the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has started clearance of landslides on the highway stretches, heavy rains have made the task even more challenging.

(With inputs from the PTI)