Rains, avalanches claim 8 lives in J&K, but floods recede

Jammu/Srinagar: Eight persons were killed in three days of recent heavy rains and snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir, but with weather clearing, the water levels in all swollen rivers, streams and lakes in the valley have started receding, officials said on Friday.

“With gradual improvement in weather, the water level in the Jehlum river and its tributaries has started receding, both at Sangam (in Anantnag district) and at Ram Munshibagh in Srinagar city,” the Irrigation and Flood Control Department said in Srinagar.

Eight people have been killed in torrential rain and untimely heavy snowfall during the last three days, the department officials said.

After the water level of the Jehlum river crossed the danger mark in Anantnag and Srinagar on Thursday, authorities declared flood warning in the valley.

A father and his son were killed by an avalanche in Kargil on Thursday. Three soldiers were buried alive under an avalanche in Batalik Sector of the Ladakh region but two soldiers were rescued.

A woman was killed by a lightning in Rajouri and a 10-year-old girl drowned in a river north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Five passengers of a taxi were miraculously rescued after the vehicle fell into the overflowing Brengi mountain stream in Anantnag district on Thursday. Two passengers of the ill-fated vehicle, however, went missing in the rapid flood waters.

The Army used helicopters to rescue 17 people marooned in flash floods in Poonch on Thursday. Dozens of houses across the state have been partially damaged by the floods and torrential rains.

In residential and commercial areas of Srinagar city, including Maisuma, Karan Nagar, Bemina, Batmaloo, Wazir Bagh, Rajbagh, Mehjoor Nagar, Chanapora, people said that flood water entered their homes.

More than two feet deep waterlogging was witnessed in the heart of the city. It caused huge traffic jams.

Authorities used fire and emergency services to drain the stagnant water from the uptown.

Meanwhile, all schools and colleges in the valley have been closed till Monday.

The strategic Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained closed to traffic for the third consecutive day on Friday due to landslides along the way.

Ten flights of various airlines were cancelled at the Srinagar International Airport as the visibility was poor and landing conditions bad.

The Met Office has forecast improvement in the weather from Friday and forecast fair weather from Sunday onwards.