Flood alert sounded in Kashmir Valley

Updated - April 02, 2016 01:42 pm IST

Published - March 30, 2015 02:05 am IST - Srinagar

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday night sounded an alert after water level in the Jhelum continued to rise due to incessant rains that have been lashing the Kashmir Valley for the entire Sunday.

A government spokesman said that people living on the banks of the Jhelum have been asked to remain alert and vigilant. Old persons and children have also been advised to move to safer places or camps that have been established in the Valley.

The spokesman quoted a communication from Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, which said, “Water levels of river Jhelum on 29-03-2015 at 2100 hrs at Sangam (South Kashmir) and Ram Munshi Bagh (Srinagar city) have touched 18’4 feet and 16’0 feet respectively.”

He said all the employees deployed for flood control duty have been asked to report to their duties immediately.

If the water level breaches the 23-foot mark, the State will have to undertake a massive rescue operations and evacuate people from areas adjoining the river.

Earlier story by our correspondent Zahid Rafiq:

Kashmir in panic as heavy rain continues

As the rain that started in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday shows no sign of abating, people have become panicky with memories of the devastating September floods still fresh. Though the State government has said that things are under control, every hour of the downpour is adding to the fear.

“The situation so far has been under control and the authorities are ready to tackle any situation that arises out of the rain,” Javed Jaffar, Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control Department, said.

The water level in the Jhelum has touched the alarm level of 16 feet at the Ram Munshibagh gauge in Srinagar and 18 feet at Sangam in south Kashmir, the Irrigation and Flood Control Department said. The Meteorological Department forecast continuous rain till April 4, causing concern.

Officials said floodwater from the Ferozpora Nallah had entered several villages in north Kashmir.

In south Kashmir, families had been moved to safer places because of the threat of flash floods. The police said over 200 families had been evacuated from low-lying areas in south and north Kashmir where floods were imminent.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and the Cabinet Ministers, who arrived here on Sunday to monitor the situation, held a high-level meeting.

Mr. Sayeed issued instructions to utilise State Disaster Response Force rescue teams to ready evacuation plans and asked the Army to provide men and machinery to the civil administration if required.

“There is rain every year in March in Kashmir, but people are afraid after the floods and it is understandable,” Met Director Sonam Lotus told The Hindu. But rumours of neighbourhoods getting submerged and false flood alarms are already doing the rounds.

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