2 killed, 3 injured as incessant rain triggers flash floods, damages property

Stranded vehicles on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway which remained closed on Thursday. -Excelsior/Parvaiz Mir
Stranded vehicles on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway which remained closed on Thursday. -Excelsior/Parvaiz Mir

Jammu-Srinagar highway to remain closed

Nishikant Khajuria

JAMMU, July 21: Incessant rain across Jammu region led to flash floods and triggered landslides at various places causing damage to public as well private property and death of two persons while the vital Jammu- Srinagar National Highway remained closed for the second consecutive day today because of shooting stones at Mehad near Ramban town.
In flash flood, one youth was washed away in Ramnagar area of district Udhampur while a middle man was killed and two others got injured in Kotranka sub-division of Rajouri when their house collapsed.
In view of the prevailing weather conditions and shooting stones from around 200 feet height at Mehad, the Jammu-Srinagar highway shall remain closed for traffic tomorrow also.
According to SSP National Highway, Shabir Malik, no vehicular movement shall be allowed tomorrow also from either side on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in view of intermittent shooting stones at Mehad.
“Even as landslide in the area was cleared today and a few stranded trucks were allowed to move for some time, the highway was again closed due to shooting stones,” he said, adding that it was risky, particularly for the small vehicles to ply on the highway in the prevailing weather conditions.
Pertinent to mention that hundreds of vehicles are stranded at different points of the highway, which was blocked following shooting stones and landslides in Ramban, especially at Mehad area on Wednesday night.
However, traffic shall ply on the Mughal Road, subject to fair weather and good road conditions. Traffic authorities said that Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) shall be allowed from both sides and Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) shall be allowed from Srinagar towards Poonch on the Mughal road.
LMVs followed by HMVs will be released from Herpora (Shopian) towards Poonch at 0500 hours upto 1700 hrs and LMVs will be released from Behramgalla (Buffliaz), Poonch towards Srinagar at 0500 hrs upto 17 hrs.
Meanwhile, one person was killed and two others got injured when a Kachha house collapsed in Muku village of Kotranka sub-division of Rajouri, this evening.
Reports said that house belonging to Mir Mohammad Hussain collapsed resulting in on the spot death of middle-aged Amjad Hussain, son of Abdul Gafoor. Two other persons, identified as Mohd Maroof (28), son of Akshar Hussain and Mohd Rafiq (18), son of Alam Din were injured in the mishap. . Both the injured were shifted to GMC Hospital Rajouri where the condition of Mohd Maroof was stated to be critical.
In sudden flash flood in the Upper Bermeen Nallah in Ramnagar area of Udhampur district, a youth was washed away and another sustained serious injuries. The duo was grazing domestic animals in a forest area when a massive flash flood washed them away, this morning around 7.30 am.
Even as the villagers rescued one of them and shifted him to hospital, only dead body of the other youth could be recovered. The deceased was identified as Ashaq Ali (22), son of Mohd Sharif, resident of Dhanal, Ramnagar. The injured, identified as Muneer Ahmed (19), son of Abdul Gani of Upper Thalo, Burmeen in Ghordi, was undergoing treatment at District Hospital Udhampur and his condition was stated to be stable.
Flash floods also washed away a foot bridge in Batruni hamlet of Panchayat Kha B of Tehsil Kotranka today. The bridge was constructed in 2016 at the cost of Rs 18 lakh.
In Mendhar, part of a footbridge on river at Banola village was washed away in flash flood due to which some children coming from school got trapped. However timely action by the parents and villagers safely rescued all the children. Incessant rain led to closure of roads at some places while nallahs were overflowing. SDM Mendhar Jangir Khan said that the administration has issued warning and asked people to stay away from the river beds.
Reasi to Dera Baba Banda Bahadur road was also closed following landslide near Gurdwara today while reports said that many remote areas remained cut off because of incessant rain and flood like situation.
As precautionary measure because of heavy rainfall, new track to Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan in Katra remained closed since last night even as yatra continued on the old route. Chopper service between Katra and Bhawan also remained suspended today due to bad weather.
In view of the prevailing weather conditions and prediction of more rains over the next few days by the MeT Department, authorities have sounded alert to meet with any situation due to possible cloudbursts and increase in water level in rivers and nallahs.
According to an order issued by DC Ramban, Mussarat Islam, all Tehsildars have been advised to monitor the situation on hourly basis and submit six-hourly reports in District Emergency Operation Centre. Further, Chief Education Officer Ramban has been asked to issue necessary direction to all the Heads of educational institutions in district Ramban to take utmost care in ensuring that all school children reach home safely after closure of schools.