100 feared dead, Flood alert sounded

SRINAGAR: At least 100 people have perished so far in flash floods and mishaps caused by incessant rains that continued to lash Kashmir for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday.

A bus carrying 70 people of a marriage party was washed away in the flash floods on Thursday in Rajouri district south of Kashmir.

The ill fated bus was carried away by gushing waters from an overflowing stream, officials said. They said rescuers were facing difficulty due to heavy downpour.

The government in Srinagar declared a red alert and asked people to evacuate to safer places. All schools and colleges have been closed in Kashmir and exams have been postponed.

According to reports, River Jhelum in Srinagar has been flowing five feet above the danger mark threatening major portions of the capital city. 

The water level in Jhelum which traverses from South Kashmir to north through Srinagar city rose to 21 metres at the city’s Ram Munshi Bagh and 28.8 meters at Sangam.

An official of the Weather office said Qazigund in south Kashmir received 156.7 mm rainfall in the past 24 hours up to 8.30 am today.

Srinagar recorded 52 mm rainfall in the corresponding period while Kupwara in north Kashmir received 119.4 mm rainfall.

Several posh colonies in Srinagar are under water as flood waters breached the banks of river Jhelum at several places. The only orthopaedic hospital of Barzulla is also under water. “Serious patients have been shifted to second floor. But the x-ray room is completely inundated,” said Nazir Ahmad, whose relative is admitted there.

Flash flood water Thursday entered the Haj House situated at Bemina area of the city.

Haj House remains busy these days as Haj pilgrims are seen off from here.

Locals said that the water diverted to flood channel has resulted in flash floods in the area.

“Authorities have diverted water from Doodh Ganga to flood Channel which has endangered the areas like Bemina,” a local said.

“We have shifted all belongings to the second floor of our house since 5 am. We are waiting for water to recede otherwise we will have to leave the area and water can breach any time now,” said Imran Yousuf, a resident of Srinagar’s posh locality of Padshahi Bagh housing bungalows.

Several regions in south Kashmir including Kulgan and Shopian are experiencing heavy rainfall from past 3 days.

Around 40 villages in south Kashmir are badly hit by flood water. Hundreds of flood-affected people have been shifted to safer locations. Abdul Gaffal Sofi, an MLA from Kulgam’s Humshalibugh area told a news portal, “The government has not reached the affected areas and I have reports that people are doing everything on their own.”

Meanwhile reports reaching Srinagar said that Kargil witnessed first snowfall of the season as the temperature dipped to zero degree Celsius on Thursday. Meteorology department while confirming the snowfall told Kashmir Life that they are hopeful the situation will change and come to normal on September 6.

Two persons were washed away at Aboora in Budgam district yesterday while nearly 100 persons trapped in flood waters in south Kashmir were evacuated to safety.

In Jammu division Poonch, Reasi and Rajouri have been overflowing with rains.

On Wednesday, a Border Security Force or BSF officer and five others were killed in landslides and flash floods triggered by heavy rain along the border with Pakistan. BSF Inspector Mohammad Rashid of 154 Battalion was buried alive in a bunker due to landslide in Mandi Mandir area along the Line of Control or LoC in Poonch district, according to Inspector General of BSF, Jammu Frontier, Rakesh Sharma.

A landslide triggered by heavy rains led to collapse of a bunker. 

It is believed that five people, including three children, died in Reasi due to a landslide that occurred in Momankot belt of the district. A rescue team from Chasana belt has been sent to the region, but will have trek a distance of 55 km on foot to reach the spot.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah carried an aerial survey and passed on instructions to officials to bring efficiency in work. He also visited areas of Srinagar. “The chief minister is monitoring the situation round the clock,” said a government spokesman.

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