Heavy Rains Trigger Flash Floods In J&K

Cars pass through a road submerged after incessant rainfall in Srinagar on Thursday: KO Photo, Abid Bhat

Srinagar- Heavy rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir triggered landslides and flash floods in many parts of the Union Territory, besides causing damage to the agricultural fields, private property and also led to rivers brimming up.

The authorities rescued students and teachers trapped in a government school after heavy rainfall triggered flash floods inundating many areas of the Jammu region on Thursday, officials said.

Dozens of houses and structures were damaged, some bridges washed away and scores of vehicles stuck on roads and highways in various districts of the region, they said.

In Jammu, police and locals swung into action and rescued students and teachers trapped in a school building due to flash floods in the Muthi-Udhaywala area, the officials said.

Several people escaped unhurt when an old building collapsed due to heavy rains in the Kanak Mandi area. It triggered protests against the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) for its alleged failure to bring down old and unused buildings in the old city causing a threat to life to the residents and shopkeepers, the officials said.

A wall of another house collapsed in Kalka colony.

Most of the roads and dozens of colonies in Jammu city were inundated due to heavy rainfall gauged over 80 mm in a few hours.

As per reports, dozens of houses and structures suffered damage due to rains, flash floods and landslides in Jammu, Kathua, Poonch, Rajouri, Udhampur and Reasi districts.

The region recorded heavy rainfall since early Thursday morning.

Worst-affected areas in Jammu due to the rainfall and subsequent flash floods were Keran, lower Roopnagar, Kangrail, Raipur, Kot-Bhalwal, Burn and Ghrota, Paloura, Takab Tillo, Channi Himmat and other low-lying areas where the rainwater entered houses, the officials said.

Power and water supply in parts of the city and other rural areas was affected badly, while water and mud entered many houses and shops in Old Janipur, Bhawani Nagar, Naseeb Nagar, Shant Nagar, Paloura, Lower Roop Nagar, Muthi, they said.

The water level of most of the rivers like Chinab, Tawi, Ujh, Basantar and other nallahs was running above the danger mark. Authorities issued advisories urging people to stay away from rivers, the officials said.

Dozens of vehicles were trapped on a highway in Kathua.

In Kishtwar, a foot-bridge was washed away in the Afti area, the officials said.
In Reasi district, a new track to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop the Trikuta hills was closed on Thursday as a precautionary measure following heavy rains in the area, they said.

As per the advisory, those residing in slide-prone areas should remain extra vigilant and report any untoward incident to the administration at the earliest.

In Valley’s Budgam district, three houses were damaged due to a landslide in Rawatpora Khag. The houses belonging to Abdul Rashid Dar, Abdul Rashid Rather and Abdul Gani Bhat were damaged due to a landslide triggered by incessant rains.

A top administrative official said that a team of officials headed by the Tehsildar concerned has been sent to the area to ascertain the facts leading to the landslide.

Water logging was also seen in Srinagar city where private vehicles remained stuck at some places due to flooded streets.

The Amarnath Yatra was suspended along both Baltal and Pahalgam routes as officials said a decision on resumption would be taken after the weather improves.

Mudslides, Shooting Stones Block Banihal Highway

The strategic 270-kilometres Jammu-Srinagar national highway was blocked on Thursday due to mudslides and shooting stones in Ramban district early Wednesday, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded, officials said.

The debris struck the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country at Mehaar, Cafeteria Moore and Pantiyal areas, thereby blocking the highway, they said.

“People are advised not to travel on Jammu-Srinagar highway without confirmation”, a traffic police advisory said.

The convoy of Amarnath yatra which was on its way from Jammu to Kashmir was halted at Chanderkoot Yatra Niwas due to the highway blockade, they said.

Later in the evening, an important iron tunnel passage at a stretch of the highway was damaged due to heavy shooting stones.

“Fresh incident of shooting stones on the highway at Pantiyal has caused damage to the important passage of an iron tunnel set up in the most vulnerable stretch of the strategic 270-km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway,” an official said.

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