IMD Issues Orange Alert In Kashmir

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Heavy Rains Likely To Trigger Landslides, Flash floods

Srinagar: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday issued an orange alert for Jammu and Kashmir for Tuesday warning of heavy rains that could trigger flash floods and landslides in several parts of the Union Territory.

Deputy Director, Meteorological Department, Mukhtar Ahmed told Kashmir Observer that the IMD has four colour-coded warnings based on the intensity of an extreme weather and on the basis of it, the department places the valley in an ascending order of green, yellow, orange and red.

“J&K has been placed at an orange level that warns people of heavy and very heavy rainfall that could lead to Landslides and Flash floods,” he said.

The IMD department, he said, has issued an orange weather warning of heavy to very heavy rains in plains and mid-hills of J&K on 13 July and yellow weather warning for July 14 and 15 in the UT.

He further added that two different cloudburst have triggered a flash flood in Jammu’s Rajouri district and Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on Monday morning and in wake of these two incidents J&K has been placed on an orange alert in order to save precious lives in case of a new flash flood.

Pertinently, the Valley has been witnessing severe heat waves and scorching humidity for the last four days.

On Sunday, the mercury settled at 34 degree Celsius, even as a relief from the scorching heat after the revival of the southwest Monsoon. On Sunday evening, the higher reaches of Kashmir experienced heavy rains while the plains witnessed low intensity rainfall, thunderstorms and lighting.

Pertinently, the MeT department has also issued advisories alerting the general public and tourists not to venture near the river banks as the water level may increase and limit their outdoor exposure to the higher reaches as the incessant rainfall may trigger flash floods.

“Present showers may generate flash floods in hilly areas.” Ahmed said.

“There are chances of landslides at few vulnerable spots of Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Leh National highway and also a moderate risk of flash floods in Ramban, Rajouri, Udhampur, Jammu and Ganderbal districts of the UT,” he added.

In the early forecast for this year’s summer season, the MeT has predicted that the maximum temperature of the season will be recorded in the month of August where the heat index could reach as high as 35.5 degree Celsius with much severe heat waves while the monsoon season in the valley is predicted to be normal for this year.

However, Ahmed says “The respite from the scorching hot and humid weather will continue to remain for the next three days till 15 July,” Ahmed said.

Cloudburst Triggers Flash Flood In Ganderbal

Several residential houses and roads were damaged by a flash flood triggered by a cloudburst that hit central Kashmir district of Ganderbal in the wee hours on Monday.

Official sources said that a cloudburst hit village Watlar in Ganderbal, triggering a flash flood in the wee hours on Monday in a local stream. “Several residential houses and roads were damaged due to the flash flood,” they said.

However, they said there was no loss of life reported in the incident. “A joint team of Police and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) has launched a rescue operation in the area to evacuate people from vulnerable spots,” they said.

They said an operation to restore road connectivity to the area was also underway.

Meanwhile, locals accused the administration of failing to remove encroachment on Charnari Nallah. “The flash flood was caused as the capacity of the nallah to carry water has been reduced due to encroachments. We have approached the administration many times, but nothing was done to remove the encroachment. There would have been less damage if the encroachments would have been removed,” they said. (With Agencies Inputs )

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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