14 structures washed away, 20 damaged in Doda cloudburst; boy dies in landslide

Flash flood in Kahra Nallah after cloudburst in upper reaches of Doda on Wednesday. —Excelsior/Tilak Raj
Flash flood in Kahra Nallah after cloudburst in upper reaches of Doda on Wednesday. —Excelsior/Tilak Raj

Jammu-Srinagar NH blocked near Ramban

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, July 20: At least 14 structures, including a school building were washed away and at least 20 others got partially damaged in flash flood, which was triggered due to cloudburst in Kahra and Jai areas of Doda district during morning hours today while a youth was killed in landslide in Thannamandi area of Rajouri district this evening.
Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was blocked due to massive landslide in Mehar area of Ramban tonight while traffic remained suspended for about 5 hours during early morning hours today due to land slides at 2-3 places in Ramban sector. Around 9 am, the road could be cleared and Shri Amarnath yatra convoy was first cleared towards Kashmir.

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A senior Traffic Police Officer said that in Mehar area near bridge, movement of vehicles came to halt at around 9.30 pm tonight after major landslide. He said a large number of Jammu bound vehicles have been stranded in Ramban, Ramsu and Banihal areas. Around 3.30 am today the highway was blocked after heavy rain and land/mudslides in Ramban sector but it was restored around 9 am.
Official sources said that major cloudburst in upper reaches of Kahra in Thathri area of Doda district, triggered massive flash flood leading to major destruction during morning hours today.
After receiving information districts officials, including Deputy Commissioner Doda, Vikas Sharma, Senior Superintendent of Police, Abdul Qayoom and Sub-Divisional Magistrate Thathri, Ather Amin Zargar reached the spot and took stock of the situation.
Allama Iqbal Memorial Educational Institution, a house, eight ‘Gharats’ (small mills) and three shops were washed away in the flashflood due to the cloudburst in Tanta and Charwah areas of Kahara tehsil, the SDM said.
Zargar said a portion of Tourist Reception Centre at Kahra, under Bhaderwah Development Authority was badly damaged. More than 20 structures were partially damaged, but no loss of life or serious injury was reported, he added.
“We are assessing the loss and relief will be provided as per rules. Some essential items will be provided as quick relief from Red Cross organization,” the Deputy Commissioner Doda said.
Reports said standing crops and fruit trees of the people and agriculture fields were also badly damaged due to flash flood in Kahra area. The roads and water supply pipes besides electric poles were also extensively damaged in the flood. The loss of property was being assessed by the administration. A foot bridge was also damaged in the incident.
Meanwhile, the district administration has issued an advisory in view of inclement weather conditions. It asked the public to remain vigilant and keep themselves away from River Chenab in view of the rise in water level in the river and apprehension of flash floods in streams and river tributaries.
Reports from Rajouri said that a minor boy namely Mohd Yasar (12), son of Mohd Farooq, resident of Bhanghai in Tehsil Thannamandi died on the spot as he came under a landslide. The incident took place when he was coming to his home from the nearby fields.
After receiving information Tehsildar Thannamandi Sahil Ali Shah, SDPO Imtiaz Hussain, SHO Thannamandi Shoket Hussain reached the spot. Later, his body was removed from the debris. Local public demanded that boy belonged to very poor family and administration should provide some relief assistance.
Meanwhile, due to landslides today Kotedhara to Panihad road was blocked in Rajouri district. The locals of the area came out on the road and held protest as it could not be cleared for long. They alleged that total length of the road is 7 km and it is under PMGSY. The mudslides were not removed from the road by concerned department, the local people and drivers removed the mud for passage of vehicles.
Reports from Mendhar said that incessant rains have increased the difficulties of the common people. School students got trapped in a large drain in Mendhar Tehsil of district Poonch today and were evacuated by local people safely.
The local river and Nallahs were in spate during the rains on Wednesday. Due to heavy rain the water logging was witnessed in and around Mendhar town. The water of the river covered some portion of the road and caused damage. Several private school children got stuck in the flood water and local people came for their rescue.
Local residents Mohd Mushtaq Ahmed, Naseeb Khan and others said that the rain has increased their difficulties. The water entered many shops and houses causing extensive damage to their properties.
An alert has been sounded for all the people by the Mendhar administration, in which strict instructions have been given to the people living near the rivers not to venture out near water bodies. They also issued helpline numbers in case of emergency.
Reports from Reasi said that heavy rain during morning hours in Arnas, Salal and Bhamag area caused flood in the Nallahs. Anji Khud and Anas river were also flooded during morning hours and it took long time to recede the water level. Many school going students remained trapped/ stranded for long time. Later, helped by the locals they managed to cross flooded Anji Khud and reach school.
Meanwhile, JK UT Government today accorded sanction to the declaration of untimely snow/ heavy rain causing flash floods from June 19 to 22 in UT of J&K as State Specific Natural Disaster under SDRF norms. It declared that concerned DCs shall provide compensation to the effected people from funds under SDRF after the verification of the cases.
Meanwhile, the standing crops were damaged today after a cloudburst triggered flash floods in Hamam Markoot village of Rafiabad in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
As per details, a cloudburst occurred in the upper reaches of Hamam Markoot village of Rafiabad which then caused damage to standing crops and roads.
“In the aftermath of flash floods, the road at Mundaji was cut off, leaving over a dozen local sightseers stranded in the area,” the eyewitnesses said.
They said that the sightseers were later guided and asked to use alternate routes to ensure their safe evacuation from the site.
Tehsildar Dangiwacha said that though the flash floods caused damage to standing crops, there was no loss of life reported anywhere.