SRINAGAR: As Kashmir witnessed heavy downpour for the second consecutive day on Friday leading to rise in water level in streams and water bodies, authorities declared flood in south Kashmir and "flood alert" in Srinagar. Srinagar and other parts of the Valley have been experiencing incessant rains since Wednesday evening. Due to the continuous rainfall, the water level in river Jehlum, streams and other water bodies rose considerably.
According to an official of Irrigation and Flood Control Kashmir, the water level in river Jhelum at Sangam in south Kashmir in the evening was recorded 22.05 feet, which was above the danger mark. "The reading at Ram Munh in Srinagar was 14.34 ft while the gauge reading at Asham in north Kashmir was 5.16 ft," he said. The official said since Jehlum had crossed danger mark of 21 ft in Sangam, the flood was declared in parts of south Kashmir. He said the flood alert has also been sounded in Srinagar. "The flood can be declared if the water level rises to 19 ft in Ram Munshi gauge".
Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control Department, M M Shahnawaz said the habitation residing along the embankments of river Jhelum / streams and in low lying areas of south Kashmir have been advised to remain vigilant, He said staff deputed on flood duty in south Kashmir has been directed to report to their respective sectors.
A weather department official said weather condition would improve from tomorrow afternoon. He, however, said the Valley is again expected to receive rainfall on July 1 and 2. Director Met department Kashmir Sonam Lotus said there can be a landslide in sloppy area, flash flood, minor flood and water logging in low lying areas. "People are requested to remain calm but vigilant, prepared and not to spread rumours of the flood. Looking at the forecast, the threat of a major flood is highly unlikely but nevertheless, it is always good to be prepared," he said.
The annual Amarnath Yatra remained suspended on Saturday in view of the heavy downpour across Jammu and Kashmir.
"Yatra continues to remain suspended as both the Baltal and Pahalgam base camps were lashed by heavy rains during the last two days," officials said.
"Due to slippery trek routes and bad weather, no Yatri was allowed to move towards the Cave Shrine from either base camp."
According to the authorities, all Yatris were safely lodged inside the two base camps.