Flood threat in Kashmir reduced; toll climbs to 16

RSTV Bureau

kashmir_floods680The flood threat in Kashmir Valley on Tuesday reduced with improved weather and receding water level in Jhelum River while the death toll in the flash floods rose to 16 with six more bodies recovered from the site of the landslide in Budgam district.

Jhelum was flowing at 16.45 feet at Sangam in south Kashmir, down over six feet compared to 22.80 feet 24 hours earlier, while the water level at Ram Munshi Bagh in the city also reduced by more than one and a half feet and it was expected to drop further during the day.

Although the weather has been cloudy, there has been no fresh rainfall over the past 24 hours which has eased the flood concerns in the city.

The weatherman has forecast light to moderate rains later in the day and tomorrow.

“Light to moderate rainfall is expected in Kashmir over the next 24 hours,” a MET department spokesman said.

The Centre said the flood situation in Jammu and Kashmir so far is not as grave as last year but authorities are on alert to deal with any situation.

“Situation is not as grave as last time. But we are fully alert and if required we will send more assistance,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh told in Bagdogra.

A senior police official said that six bodies were recovered from the debris in Laden village in Budgam district, taking the death toll to 16 in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed had said on Monday that there was an “unfortunate” death in Udhampur and there have been some flash floods in Jammu as well.

Process to evacuate affected people was underway as eight teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were rushed to Kashmir. Armed forces, along with four helicopters, have been placed in readiness for deployment at short notice after local authorities had declared a flood situation in the Valley.

Heavy rainfall on Saturday and Sunday led to a sudden surge in the water level of Jhelum and its tributaries, causing panic among the residents of the Valley about the possibility of fresh floods.

Schools and colleges have been closed across the Valley in view of the flood threat while ongoing examinations have been postponed.

However, University of Kashmir will hold examinations as per schedule from tomorrow in view of the improving flood situation, an official of the varsity said.

In September last year also, over 280 people had died and tens of thousands were left homeless when unprecedented floods hit the state.