Kashmir: Water level in River Jhelum crosses 'flood declaration' mark in Srinagar

Representative image of the Jhelum river at Pakistan-administered Kashmir's Muzaffarabad. Image source: Wikimedia Commons Photograph:( Others )

WION Srinagar Apr 06, 2017, 04.58 PM (IST)

The water level in River Jhelum Thursday crossed the "flood declaration" mark in Kashmir capital Srinagar.

Srinagar has received 83 mm of rainfall in 24 hours, the highest ever during the month of April, Reuters reported citing  the country's private weather forecaster Skymet.

Pahalgam, also in south Kashmir, recorded rainfall of 64.2 mm of rains in the past 24 hours, Met officials were quoted as saying by PTI.

Days of heavy rains have caused flash floods in the northern Indian state, disrupting normal life and paralysing road traffic, Reuters reported.

Incessant rains caused water bodies in Srinagar to swell, buildings to submerge and traffic to crawl on water logged roads.

The staff of flood control department is on alert and water levels of local rivers, lakes and streams is being continuously monitored.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti chaired a high-level meeting in Srinagar to take stock of the situation, PTI reported.

"Due to continuous rains, the gauge at Ram Munshi Bagh (locality in Srinagar) has crossed the flood declaration level of 18-feet. The habitation along the embankments of River Jhelum and in low lying areas of Central Kashmir are advised to remain vigilant," an official of the Irrigation and Flood Control department told PTI.

The water level at Sangam -- in south Kashmir's Anantnag district -- was 20.30 feet at 7.00 pm, just 0.70 feet below the flood declaration level, the official said, adding that the staff deputed on flood duty in central Kashmir have been directed to report to their respective beats.

Authorities had to set up emergency control rooms and direct the staff marked for flood duty to report to their beats.

"Emergency help lines have been established in control rooms across the Valley to provide help to the people (in case of floods). These control rooms will remain open 24x7," a police spokesman said. 

With rains continuing to pound most parts of the Valley, the administration here is gearing up for the possibility of flood. 

The chief minister asked the divisional administration to gear up to meet any eventuality in view of the inclement weather, an official spokesman told PTI.

She reviewed the preparedness and the steps to be taken by the administration in view of the emerging situation of rains and waterlogging in many parts of Kashmir Valley at a meeting of officers in Srinagar.

The chief minister directed that senior functionaries of the concerned departments be deputed to the control room to respond to the emerging situation in a coordinated approach.

She also directed chalking out contingency plans for the flood-prone areas and make available nearby buildings in case of emergency evacuations.

Mehbooba Mufti directed for immediate constitution of a unified control room to monitor the situation arising out of incessant rains and unusual snowfall in the Valley for the past two days and take appropriate measures.

She specifically directed patrolling of spots which had breached during the floods of 2014. 

The 2014 floods had caused widespread destruction in the Valley leading to the death of more than 300 persons in the deluge that struck in the month of September.

The incessant rains have forced closure of the arterial Jammu-Srinagar national highway as the downpour has triggered landslides and shooting stones at several places along the 300-km road.

Air traffic to and from the Srinagar International Airport was also affected due to weather conditions as 10 flights were cancelled while most of the other flights were delayed.

The government has closed down all schools in the Valley till Sunday in view of the rain and unusual snowfall at this time of the year.

University of Kashmir and Islamic University have postponed all examinations for the day.

The Health Department has directed all district and block level officers to prepare for exigencies in case of flood. 

(WION with inputs from PTI)
 

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