Jhelum river crosses danger mark in Srinagar, South Kashmir

Heavy rains lashed most parts of Kashmir forcing authorities to issue an alert asking people to move to safer places.

March 30, 2015 08:17 am | Updated November 17, 2021 12:03 pm IST - Srinagar

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday declared a flood situation in Kashmir Valley as Jhelum river crossed the danger mark in Srinagar following incessant rains.

All schools in the Valley have been closed for two days after heavy rains inundated large areas.

“The government today decided to shut all schools up to class 12 for today and tomorrow in the wake of flood alert,” Director Education, Kashmir, Showkat Beigh, said.

Mr Beigh said the government had first announced closure of schools up to class eight only, but the decision to extend it to high and higher secondary schools was taken this morning after assessing the situation.

He said all Board of School Examinations scheduled for Monday and Tuesday have also been postponed.

Meanwhile, University of Kashmir has also postponed its annual examinations for two days.

Rescued teams dispatched

Two NDRF teams comprising 100 personnel have been rushed as part of contingency measures in Jammu and Kashmir, where Jhelum river on Monday crossed the danger level in Srinagar and Sangam area of South Kashmir following heavy rains.

The two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, comprising about 50 personnel each, were taken in an IAF plane from Bhatinda in Punjab to Srinagar.

“We have pre-positioned two of our teams in the Kashmir Valley in order to combat any situation in the wake of flood alert.

“Four other teams at Ghaziabad and Bhatinda will be on standby,” NDRF Director General O P Singh told PTI here.

The DG said there was no need to panic and the force along with the state government is putting in all measures to tackle a possible flood situation.

“There is no flooding as of now. There is some water logging in areas of Kashmir Valley. It is good news that there have been no rains for a couple of hours now in the state,” he said.

All schools in the valley have been closed for two days after heavy rains inundated large areas.

Our Correspondent Zahid Rafiq adds:

Six months after the Kashmir valley was drowned in the worst floods in a century, the valley, in a Deja vu, on Monday morning finds itself on the brink of another major deluge. After incessant rains for over two days caused the Jehlum and its several streams to swell, the government has declared floods in Srinagar and south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. On Monday morning, Srinagar is a city in panic.

“The water is running above the danger levels. We have urged the people in the low lying areas and near the embankments of the rivers and streams to go to safer places,” Chief Engineer of Irrigation and Flood Control department, Javed Jaffer, told The Hindu . "We don't know how the embankments will hold after the last year's floods and nothing can be said as of now. But we are doing everything that is in our hands."

According to the Irrigation and Flood Control department, the Jehlum's water level at the Ram Munshi Bagh gauge at 9 am was 19, a foot over the danger mark, while in Sangam in south Kashmir, the water had risen to 22.50 feet, a feet and half over the danger mark. While the government all through Sunday kept repeating that things were under control and asking people not to panic and spread rumors of floods, late in the night the flood was declared in Srinagar. Thousand of people spent the night awake, shifting their children and older family members to safer places and moved with their belongings to the upper storey’s of their houses.

“A white police gypsy made rounds in the city in Buddhah Nagar and Natipora areas at midnight and urged people living in single storey houses to move out and go to safer places,” Bilal Ahmad, a resident of the area told The Hindu. “If they (government) had said so in the day, people would have been saved from a lot of panic.”

The rain, meanwhile, has stopped and clear skies have given some hope to people that they might not find themselves marooned in water again as they did in September last year. Mr. Jaffer told The Hindu that there were no breaches yet in the embankments and they were in constant touch with the MET department over the developing weather conditions.

"The halt in the rain is hopeful and in the last one hour there has been very little increase in the water level in Jehlum," Jaffer said.In September last year, J&K saw the worst floods in a century that drowned almost three quarters of the valley that killed more than 300 people and caused immense damage to property and business.

The Deputy Commissioner, Farooq Ahmad Lone, said that the situation was under control.

"Two NDRF teams are arriving in Srinagar today and we have kept buses of J&K Transport department and boats on standby if evacuation was needed," Mr. Lone said.

The police also took Shikaras from the Dal Lake to various police stations and to several areas in the south Kashmir.

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