Kashmir floods: Six killed, many evacuated

 04 Sep 2014 - 0:00

Girls row a boat as they hold umbrella to protect themselves from the rain on Dal Lake in Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir, yesterday. Kashmir has been receiving moderate to heavy rainfall over the past 24 hours.


Srinagar: Six people, including a BSF inspector, were killed yesterday due to landslides and flash floods in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said. Dozens of families were rescued and shifted to safer places.
Five people died due to landslides triggered by heavy rain in a mountainous area in Chungra Kalla Jarh village in Reasi district.
Abdul Rashid, an inspector with the 154 battalion of the Border Security Force (BSF), died when a bunker collapsed in Poonch district.
“More than three dozen members of other families were shifted to safer places from flood-prone areas,” a police officer said in Jammu.
High alert has been sounded in the entire Jammu region where incessant heavy rain has led to rise in water levels in almost all the rivers and streams.
In Poonch and Rajouri districts, flash floods have washed away 40 houses besides breaching roads and snapping electricity supply in many areas.
A police post in the remote Behram Galla village in Surankote region of Poonch was also washed away by flash floods Wednesday although there was no loss of life, police said.
Police in Kulgam district launched a rescue operation when an entire village in Banjarpora, Aakhran was inundated with flood waters and more than 35 families including 25 members of nomadic goatherds called Bakarwals along with their flock were trapped.
“Rafts from Pahalgam were called in by police and the district administration to evacuate the trapped people, including 26 children. The rescue operation is still on,” officials said.
Eight families comprising 37 members were rescued by police when they were trapped in the flood in Birigam, Devsar in the same district. The rescued families were relocated to the Panchayat Ghar temporarily.
In Anantnag district, police launched a rescue operation in Fathepora village where five people were trapped in flood waters.
At Ganjiwara, Anantnag, police rescued a woman who was swept away in flood water of the Jhelum river. A youth who was also swept away by the gushing waters in Ganderbal district was rescued by police with the assistance of the army.
Reports of villages getting inundated by flood waters have also come in from Baramulla and Pulwama districts.
State chief secretary Muhammad Iqbal Khandey held two video conferences with district magistrates of the flood-affected districts. The Srinagar-Leh national highway connecting the cold desert of Ladakh with the rest of India was closed following landslides and heavy rain in the Zojilla Pass area.
Sonam Lotus, director of the local Met office, said there would be moderate to rather heavy rain at many places across the state in the next two days.
He issued an advisory asking people living in higher reaches and close to rivers to exercise caution and remain alert.
“The present weather conditions would continue till Friday evening although we are expecting periods of relief from incessant rain that is presently lashing Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.