9 killed in floods, house collapse incidents; 24 rescued

Gopal Sharma

Tawi river in full spate on Wednesday. More pics on page 3 —Excelsior/Rakesh

JAMMU, Aug 14: Incessant rain and flash floods in rivers and seasonal nallahs across the region caused extensive damage to the roads, bridges, houses, railway track and Government buildings besides leading to the closure of many roads due to landslides affecting normal life while six persons were buried alive in house-collapse incidents and three others were washed away in swollen nallahs in Mahore and Gool whereas,  24 persons trapped in flash floods were rescued at different places and nearly 200 families were shifted to the safer places in Poonch, Surankote, Rajouri and Jammu facing flood fury.
Heavily flooded river Chenab was flowing nearly 5 ft above danger mark, sounding a red alert in many villages situated along both the banks down-steam, causing land erosion and damage to standing crop. River Tawi was also in spat and flowing at danger mark (nearly 17 ft), causing  damage to several houses along the banks. About a dozen Gujjar families near new bridge, Tawi barrage,  Karnale Chak and  Island area were shifted to safer places by the District Administration whereas, traffic on busy Jammu-Pathankote National Highway was diverted to the new bridge over Basantar near Samba as old existing bridge got damaged due to heavy flood in river during this afternoon. The bridge at first pillar developed large crack, posing risk to the life of the passengers and the National Highway authorities closed the movement of traffic on it and diverted vehicles to the newly constructed bridge.
The train-traffic on Jammu-Udhampur railway line also came to halt as the track got damaged due to landslides near Darsoo and some portions also washed away at two to three other places en-route. Only train could operate between Jammu and Udhampur stations during morning today. The train traffic is expected to be restored by tomorrow. Some flights were also affected at Jammu and Srinagar airports due to bad weather today.
The traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was suspended for over two hours due to landslides at Seri and Panthial near Ramban at around 10 am today. A boulder fell on an Army bus at Panthial during the day, causing serious injuries to the two jawans. The injured soldiers were provided first aid at Banihal unit Hospital and then referred to Military Hospital, Srinagar. The traffic was also disrupted at least twice at Panthial during this afternoon due to shooting stones and minor sliding, however, the traffic was again restored.
A villager namely, Mohd Shafi (40), son of  Mohd Ibrahim, resident of  village Ganjote in Mahore washed away during rain and flood in Ganjote nallah at around 12.45 pm. He was crossing the Ans nallah and slipped away during rain and washed away in gushing waters. His body could not be traced till late this evening.
In yet another incident of house collapse at Pandyaran in Kishwar today, a 50- year old woman was buried alive while 10-year- old child-Janu was seriously injured. He was referred to GMC Hospital, Jammu.
In Qasim Nagar locality of Jammu near Bagh-e-Bahu, 6-year-old girl, namely Pari and her mother Mamta, wife of  Moti Ram, died this evening. The incident took place when landslide hit their house and it got collapsed.  While girl died on the spot, her mother succumbed to injuries in GMC Hospital.
In Sangaldan area of Good in  Ramban district a newly wedded couple was washed away in flood in Dukras nallah this afternoon. The deceased were identified as Super Dil (25), son of Habib Ullah Mir and his wife Parveza (22), residents of Sangaldan. Their bodies were later recovered by locals and police after long search. Four small bridges also got washed away in flooded nallas at Gulabgarh, Ladd and Angralla area of Mahore and seven houses collapsed at Dewal, Chasoti, Dabr and Baransal in the area tehsil, SDM Mahore A K Khajuria said.
Reports from Poonch and Mendhar said that three members of  a family were killed on the spot and one injured when their muddy house collapsed during heavy rain at Sangiot village in Mendhar this morning. The bodies of the deceased, who were buried under the debris were later removed.  SHO Gursai Mohd Maroof was also present on the spot.  The deceased were identified as 45-year-old Shameema Akhtar, wife of  Mohd Yunis, their two children Altaf (9) and Tasleem (7). Yunis suffered injuries but escaped. Five other families putting up in unsafe houses were shifted to other locations by the village Sarpanch who also gave them financial assistance. The local Army unit provided ration and shelter to the family which lost  three members in house collapse.
The massive land slides on Mendhar-Surankote road at Thamra Nad caused damaged to the road. Nearly 50 mt road has gone down with slides and boulders and the traffic has been suspended. Mendhar nallah created havoc and caused damage to nearly two dozen houses and many PHE pumping stations and kools besides standing crop. Nearly three dozen electric poles have also been damaged. The flood also caused some damage to Hanuman Mandir wall and posed to threat to the temple. SDM visited the area and directed R&B  to raise protection wall at war footing to save the historic temple.
In Surankote, six houses and a Govt Middle School building washed away in flooded Suran river. The flood water also entered into over two dozen houses and some shops causing damage to the public property whereas, many  families had to be shifted to the safer places.  The local administration also sounded alert and asked the people to move to the safer places.
In Poonch, the massive flood in Poonch river caused extensive   damage to the houses and crop of the people. MLA Poonch, Aijaz Jan,  DC Sajjad Ahmed Khan and SP Shamsheer Hussain rushed to Darya Mohalla and forced shifting of nearly 150 families to the safer places. Over a dozen houses suffered damage in the flood. The people remained for over five to six  hours away from their houses and flood posed threat to their properties. The flood water also  entered ITI complex and nearly 5 ft water was witnessed in the premises. Many PHE pumping stations have been damaged in flood, affecting supply of drinking water.
A report from Rajouri said that nearly 50 families from Bera Colony were shifted to the safer places during mid night and also from river bank near Julla bridge. SP Mubassar Latiffi and DC F C Bhagat visited these areas  and asked the people to shift to the safer places due to the threat posed by flooded Rajouri river. Some families were forcibly removed to safer zones by the cops. The flood water also entered many houses  causing damage to their property.
The police and locals also rescued 14 persons trapped in the flood in Nariyan area while two from Bhagnoti area of Nowshera.  The PHE dug wells/ pumping stations were also damaged in today’s massive flood near Sangam,  Dalogari, Kallar and Naban area  in Rajouri. The official residences of Addl SP, SDPO and SHO besides their offices were also suffered some damage as the rain and flood water entered the premises due to rain and heavy flood in the local stream.  Several huts of labour class people were also washed away in flood but they had been already shifted to safer places due to flood threat.
The flood water in river Chenab caused extensive damage to the standing crops. The water level was highest of this seasons ( 38 ft) in river Chenab this afternoon which 5 ft above danger mark. The people from many villages along the river banks were shifted to safer places by the administration. It also caused massive land erosion today. Rivers Tawi, Ujh and Basantar were also in spat today and caused damage to the land and crops. Many link roads were closed due to rain and traffic movement was hit at many places. In Jammu city also the water entered many localities including Channi Himmat, Channi Rama, Preet Nagar, Nanak Nagar, Greater Kailash, Jeevan Nagar, Nai Basti, Digiana, Gangyal, Bhagwati Nagar and Bohri area. The people had to flush out the rain water. Similar reports were received from Sapwal, Samba, Bishnah, R S Pura, Akhnoor and Kathua.  One Bilal Ahmed of Beli Charana Jammu was rescued by Air Force chopper when he was trapped in flooded river Tawi this afternoon.
Seven members of a Gujjar family who were trapped in flash flood in Devak river at Dayala Chak (Supwal) in Samba were rescued by police.  They had gone to the river side along with cattle.  The water level started increasing ands they got trapped during early hours today. Later police party led by SI Parmod Singh with the help of locals using rope rescued all the seven.  They were identified as Bawe, son of Allah Ditta, Maradu, son of Bawe, Shah Din, son of Mir Baz, Kalsoom Bi, Rupi, wife of Sadiq, Amna daughter of Nazir Ahmed and Reshma, wife of Saleem –all residents of Dayala Chak.
Another report from Udhampur said that six houses were completely perished while at least 30 others partially collapsed due to rain at Shateni village.  In entire district there are reports of about 100 house- collapse incidents.  Due to land slides at Darsoo and damage caused to track at other places, the train service between Udhampur-Jammu was  suspended. Jammu Mail, Utter Sampark Kranti and local DMU could not operate on this section today. Due to flood in Tawi many pumping stations were damaged and water supply to the town has been hit.
Dhar Road was also blocked due to landslides near  Majalta. Samba –Mansar, Udhampur-Pancheri and Mansar-Saruinsar  Jammu road has also been closed at Atham due to landslides.  Basohli-Bani, Ramnagar-Majori-Dudu, Dayala Chak -Billawar and Basohli-Bani roads were also closed due to floods in nallahs and landslides. At Parngoli in Hiranagar, over seven houses were damaged due to flash flood in the nallah.  Old Samba Kathua road also remained closed due to flood in nallahs and many border villages remained cut off. The administration in Samba, Jammu and Kathua has sounded alert in the villages along major rivers to remain vigilant and stay away from risk prone areas.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner Jammu has claimed that nearly 200 people have been rescued from floods in Poonch, Rajouri, Samba and Jammu by Police, Army, Air Force and the locals.  He said a control room has also been set up in PCR Jammu to monitor the rain and flood situation.
Meanwhile, a BSF observatory post (tower),  near the Indo-Pak border was damaged in Kamore area with the flood in Basantar river  in district Samba today. A BSF spokesman said that an  observatory post,  part of a forward border post with Pakistan, was partially damaged  in flood water today. However, no one was injured incident the incident. The flash flood has also caused some damage to fencing in the same area.