SRINAGAR, June 22: Heavy rains continued to lash the valley of Kashmir, resulting in inundated roads and even damage to some houses and bridges. However, the weather has started to improve slightly from Wednesday evening.
Reports reaching Kashmir Despatch said that the incessant rainfall in the past four days has increased the water level of almost every water body while at some places Jhelum crossed flood alarm mark of 18-ft.
Eyewitnesses told Kashmir Despatch that life was thrown out of whack by the continuous rain for the past 48 hours, despite officials from the Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) department claiming that there is no chance of flooding because the gauges are well below the warning level but the Jhelum river has crossed flood declaration mark of 18 feet at Ram Munshibagh and at Sangam in Anantnag on Wednesday evening.
The Irrigation and Flood department Kashmir in a tweet said, the inhabitants residing along the River Jhelum in South/Central/North Kashmir are requested to remain vigilant. “The flood duty as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is in force”, it said. The flash floods damaged many residential houses and some bridges, also inundated several localities in North, South and Central Kashmir areas of the Valley.
An official told Kashmir Despatch that overall situation in the valley remained fine however, incessant rains triggered flood like situation in several villages of Pattan in Baramulla district, Bemina in Srinagar district and many south Kashmir areas. He said in Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian, Kupwara, Baramulla and Ramban districts on Wednesday class work in schools remained shut due to water logging, flash floods.
He said besides Srinagar-Jammu highway, Srinagar-Ladakh highway and Bandipora-Gurez road were also closed for vehicular traffic. The official said that the vehicular traffic on the 270 Km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway (NH44) was suspended on Tuesday evening following multiple landslides triggered by heavy rain.
The only all-weather road which links Kashmir valley with the rest of the country was blocked at several places between Nashri and Ramsu besides at Samroli due to landslides and shooting stones. Two trucks have also turned turtle on the road at Sher Bibi in Ramban.
Hundreds of stranded passengers were accommodated by administration in shelter sheds, schools and offices. Police, QRTs and road clearance agencies were on job and were working on war footing in order to make the road trafficable. The official said that day-long efforts were fruitful as the road was cleared.
Director Meteorological Department Sonam Lotus said from Thursday onwards, there was no forecast of any major rainfall in the coming week. The maximum temperature in Srinagar stood at 17.7 degrees Celsius which was 11.5 notches below normal. Srinagar had recorded a maximum temperature of 15.0°C on Tuesday, which was the coldest June day in the last seven years. On June 4, 2015, Srinagar recorded a 15.2°C maximum temperature.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar stood at 11.0 degrees, 4.3 notches below normal. North Kashmir resort Gulmarg remained the coldest place in Kashmir recording 8.0 degrees Celsius maximum temperature and a low of 3.2°C.
Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar paid a visit to Flood Control Room Ram Munshi Bagh here and held a detailed meeting with the senior officers of the Irrigation and Flood Control wing of Jal Shakti Department to evaluate the overall flood scenario.
The Advisor delved upon the officers that men and machinery should be geared up and deployed at all the vulnerable spots to avoid any exigency. He asked the officers that sandbags and other required material should be kept available near the Jhelum embankments so that any kind of breach is rectified in time.
Meanwhile authorities rescued 25 tourists from Kokernag. In a statement issued to Kashmir Despatch which reads, Under the supervision of DC Anantnag, a joint rescue operation was launched by administration of Sub Division Kokernag ( Revenue, Police and NHIDCL) and Administration of Sub Division Chatroo( Revenue and police) under supervision of SDMs Kokernag and Chatroo on 22 June 2022 at around 11am to Rescue the half a dozen vehicles carrying 25 tourists, locals, supplies etc who were stuck near sinthan top road.
The road was blocked due to fresh snowfall land slide. Tehsildars and SHOs of both the sides were closely monitoring the operation under supervision of SDPO Kokernag. 19 RR was on stand by the statement reads.