SRINAGAR: After experiencing one of the worst floods in September last year, Jammu and Kashmir was on Monday again hit by floods caused by incessant rainfall. At least 19 people are feared dead while eight National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) teams were rushed to the area.
The authorities declared floods in the valley after the water level in river Jehlum touched the danger mark in Srinagar and South Kashmir. People living in areas close to embankments were advised to move to safer places.
In a major relief, the rainfall, which was continuing from Saturday, stopped this morning and the weather condition improved.
In view of continuous rainfall, some houses collapsed due to sinking of land at village Lalden in Chadoora in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
A police spokesperson told Express that 18 people including women and children, were trapped when the houses collapsed in the early hours of Monday. “Police, paramilitary, army and locals immediately launched a rescue operation,” he said. Six bodies were recovered from the debris and efforts were on to extricate the other bodies.
Meanwhile, a youth was washed away in a stream in a flash flood triggered by heavy rains on Tuesday in Udhampur district of Jammu province. A police spokesman said 728 people of 151 families have been rescued from across the Valley by police and rescue personnel.
A weather department official said weather conditions will improve and there will be less rainfall during next 48 hours.
“The civil administration reached out to Army for rescue and relief operations in Srinagar and South Kashmir’s Pulwama districts. Army is keeping a close watch on the flood situation and 20 columns with rescue boats and other equipment have been kept on alert,” defence spokesman Col S D Goswami told Express.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on phone this morning to enquire about the flood situation. “The Centre has already rushed two teams of NDRF to flood affected areas of J&K. We will provide all possible assistance to the state,” Singh assured Sayeed.
Meanwhile, Union Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth held an hour-long video conference with J&K Chief Secretary, Iqbal Khandey and assured of all possible help in dealing with the situation. He said 8 NDRF teams will be rushed to the State.
Chief Minister Sayeed released Rs 25 crore for Kashmir and Rs 10 crore for Jammu region for rescue and relief efforts.