J&K Police sets up 24x7 flood helpline as heavy rains lash parts of state; flash-floods, landslides reported

The Jammu and Kashmir Police, on Friday, issued a flood advisory following incessant rains in the state. In a tweet, the state police also announced that it has set up a flood helpline. The general public is adviced to call at the numbers, 01931260486 or 7051510660, in case of an emergency or if they need any kind of police assistance.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police also said that the Anantnag district of south Kashmir faces an increased threat of a flood-like situation. The police force set up a special helpline, specific to the district. Citizens trapped in distress may reach out on the following numbers: 9596777669 and 9419051940.

The police's efforts come in wake of heavy rainfall that continued to lash parts of Jammu and Kashmir for the third consecutive day on Friday. The state authorities have also started the precautionary taming and clearance of nallahs at Baltal base camp, amid other areas, to avoid waterlogging.

Earlier in the day, the State Disaster Response Force and the civil defence team rescued six persons trapped in River Tawi, because of flash floods.

The Jhelum river too flowed above the critical 21 feet mark at Sangam in south Kashmir's Anantnag district due to heavy rains over the past two days. The water level in Jhelum at Ram Munshi Bagh in the city was 13.34 feet at 6 pm, over 4.5 feet below the flood declaration level. He said the people living in areas along the embankments of River Jhelum, other streams and in low lying areas were advised to remain vigilant.

Besides this, a landslide blocked Jammu-Srinagar national highway late on Friday afternoon, leaving hundreds of vehicles including those carrying Amarnath pilgrims to the base camps in the Valley stranded.

Heavy rains triggered the landslide at Gangroo near Ramsu along the 260-kilometre long highway — the only all-weather road connecting Kashmir with rest of the country.

Heavy rains in Banihal-Udhampur sector had also triggered landslides and shooting of stones at four places at Panthal, Nedgard, Digdol and Samroli this morning, blocking the highway, the officials said. However, they said the agencies concerned pressed men and machines into service and after hectic efforts cleared the blockade in the shortest possible time at around 0915 hours.

Massive traffic jam was reported at several places along the highway throughout the day, causing hardships for the traffic personnel and police to manage the traffic despite the rain, they said.

Earlier in the day, the Amarnath yatra to the cave shrine in south Kashmir was also suspended from the Baltal route due to multiple landslides en route caused by heavy rainfall in the Valley over the past two days.

An official of the MET office said south Kashmir's Kokernag, in Anantnag district, received the highest rainfall of 63.4 mm till 8:30 am this morning, while the neighbouring Qazigund received 58.6 mm of rainfall.

Srinagar – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir – recorded 12.6 mm rainfall till 8:30 am but the intensity increased after that, the official said.

He said Pahalgam – one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra – which commenced yesterday – received 27.8 mm of rains. The rainfall has led to an increase in the water level in streams and rivers across the valley, especially in south Kashmir.

The water level was increasing since the morning, as there has been an increase of around one foot with each hour since 9 am. The fast-rising water levels have induced fear among the valley residents of a re-run of 2014 floods that caused widespread devastation and left over 300 persons dead.

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Updated Date: Jun 29, 2018 21:41:10 IST