Cloudburst, flashfloods in parts of North Kashmir

Army camp deluged in Poonch, 4 soldiers hurt

Srinagar: Several residential houses suffered damages due to the flash floods triggered by cloudbursts in various forest areas of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Friday. At least four army men were injured Friday when the flashfloods wrought havoc inside an army camp at Poonch.

Locals from Kupwara said that cloudbursts hit Lalpora in Lolab Valley, Bumhama and Muqam-e-Shahwali areas of the frontier district early this morning triggering flash floods that uprooted trees and plantations, inundated low lying areas and caused extensive damage to agricultural fields. The accumulation of mud and stones also blocked the Srinagar-Kupwara highway near Bumhama causing disruption of traffic. 

The interior road links too were blocked by the mud waters causing much inconvenience to the locals and prevented many from offering the prayers at the Masjids

In Lalpora, Lolab, mud waters entered the residential houses forcing the people to run out of their houses. The flash floods also caused extensive damage to the house of Mohammad Ashraf, son of Wali Mohammad.

“People were asleep when the cloudburst caused flash flooding in our villages. The entire villagers woke up after hearing screams and shouts when the waters entered their houses. Everyone was panicked, clueless,” Mohammad Shafi, a local said.

He said that the villagers made collective efforts and helped each other to drain our waters that had accumulated in their houses damaging household goods and bedding.

Flash floods also caused damages in Hajam Mohalla in Dawood Colony, Astan Mohalla, Lone Mohalla, Kumar Mohalla and other localities of Muqam-e-Shah Wali area of the district. Besides destroying the beddings, the mud waters also damaged other household items in the localities.

Witnesses said that the waters entered the houses of Ghulam Mohammad Hajam, Abdul Ahad Hajam and destroyed their boundary walls. Besides this, the water entered in Kumar Mohalla in the houses of Mohammad Ashraf Pir, Mohammad Ramzan Kumar, Mohammad Hayat Kumar, Ghulam Mohammad Mochi and Abdul Qayoom Pir, the mud water and flash water damaged their households and caused extensive damage to the roads in the areas.

In Bumhama the residential house of Farooq Ahmad Mir was damaged after being submerged with flood waters.

Most of the locals said that the bedding was completely damaged in the mud waters.

Meanwhile, a team of civil administration comprising officials of the revenue department today visited the affected areas to assess the situation. The team interacted with the locals and assured the people of all possible help.

Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara, Rajeev Kumar said that special teams were constituted and dispatched to the affected areas.

“Loss assessment will be prepared by revenue officials so that compensation as per SDRF norms could be projected to higher authorities”, he said.

In another similar incident, scores of residential houses were damaged after a cloudburst hit them late last evening at Aham Shareef area of Bandipora district.

Locals said that several bunds were also destroyed and that they feel frightened to stay in the damaged houses.

“The paddy crop, orchards, roads and residential houses have suffered damages,” they said.

Meanwhile, a senior official of the district said that the residents would be compensated once assessment of losses is completed.

Reports from the Jammu region said that at least four soldiers were injured on Friday when their camp was inundated by flash floods in Mendhar sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district.

Officials told Srinagar based news gathering agency Global News Service that flashfloods caused by a cloudburst submerged the camp of army’s 37 RR (E-Coy) located on the Kalaban hills along the LoC in Mendhar sector around 4:00 am today. The flashfloods caught the troopers unaware as the mud waters damaged telecommunication centre and Signal centre. Several soldiers, officials said had a narrow escape as the flashfloods swept away several pickets.

“Four soldiers sustained injuries while hey shifting arms and ammunitions from the inundated camp. They didn’t suffer serious injuries though,” officials said.

They said that after hitting the camp, the flashfloods caused extensive damage to the village lying on the foothills of Kalaban.

The residential house and a cowshed of Abdul Khaliq were damaged in the floods. The gushing waters also washed away his five goats. The house of Raja Nasir Ahmad and the agricultural fields of Mehmood Ahmed and Mohammad Khaleel were also damaged by flash floods.

Later in the day, a team of police officials visited the spot and assessed the situation caused by the flashfloods.

Meanwhile, Indian Air Force today rescued at least 28 Border Security Force (BSF) troopers, who were stranded in flash floods on the Border Out Posts along International Border in Samba district

“The border guards were airlifted by AIF from Ramgarh sector of Samba where heavy overnight rains triggered flash floods. The troopers were lifted in several sorties by the IAF chopper and shifted to safer places,” a senior officer said.

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