CU Scholar among 4 washed away as rain, floods wreak havoc

Flooded Tawi river in Jammu on Thursday morning. — Excelsior/Rakesh
Flooded Tawi river in Jammu on Thursday morning. — Excelsior/Rakesh

Jammu breaks 26 yrs’ highest rainfall record

Many houses, vehicles damaged; roads blocked

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, Aug 11: Four persons including a Research Scholar of Central University and a minor girl were washed away in flash floods in Samba and Ramban districts, while heavy rain wreaked havoc in many areas of Jammu region, causing extensive damage to the public property whereas, hundreds of vehicles have been stranded on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway after fresh landslide in Ramban sector today.

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A MeT spokesman said that the heavy rainfall in Jammu has broken the record of last 26 years as the Temple City recorded 189.6 mm rainfall during last 24 hours up to 8:30 hours and 238.8 mm up to 5.30 hrs this evening.. Samba recorded 221.0 mm while Reasi a rainfall of 198.5 mm up to 5.30 pm today during past 24 hours, the spokesman added.
Near Mehar bridge in Ramban, the flash flood in the nearby Nallah caused extensive damage to the hutments of the labourers working on the highway. While many of them managed to escape to the safer places, a middle aged woman- Shamima Begum, wife of Shabir Ahmed and her teen- aged daughter- Rozia were washed away in the flood. The labourers’ huts were just 40-50 ft away from river Chenab and the bodies were washed away in Chenab.
The incident took place at around 12.40 pm and it was raising heavily in the area. While some people claimed that flash flood took place due to cloud burst, the district administration Ramban said that it was flash flood as it was raining heavily in the upper reaches. The search operation for the missing mother and daughter has been launched by police, SDRF and locals of the area. Tehsildar and DySP, Hqs Ramban were supervising the operation.
Due to landslide in Mehar and Cafeteria Morh area of Ramban, the Jammu-Srinagar highway was also blocked at around 11.30 am today and a large number of vehicles including convoy of the security forces, have been stranded in Ramban, Ramsu, Banihal, Qazigund, Chanderkote, Nashri, Udhampur, Dhar Road and Nagrota areas of Jammu. Though two affected areas were cleared by late this evening, but the road clearance work was still in progress and the highway is expected to be cleared maximum by 10 pm, a senior Traffic Police official said.
Reports from Samba said that a 45-year-old woman was washed away in massive flood in a Nallah near Samba Bus Stand this morning. The incident took place when the woman- Neeru Devi, wife of Kalidass, resident of Ward No. 4 was moving towards her home in the nearby locality. The Nallah was flooded and some area had been dug for the construction purpose and left opened. She slipped into the large pit and washed away in the flood. Some people tried to rescue her but the flow of water was very high. Later, the locals and police launched search operation but her body could not be traced till late this evening.
The water of this Nallah and also another one near Power House and new Flyover site on the Jammu-Pathankot highway created havoc, the water entered many houses and shops causing extensive damage to the public property including three dozen houses and more than 50 shops. Much damage has been caused in Ward Nos. 11 and 13 and Chak Manga area. Even the water entered the rooms of Power Receiving Station Samba and caused damage to the panels. The power supply also remained affected for many hours. Basantar river and other nallahs in the district were flooded. The deep water logging at Mansar Morh near Samba also hit movement of traffic on the National Highway for several hours. It caused long traffic jams for hours together. The people held strong protest against the NH authorities and the district administration.
A senior police official said that a Research Scholar, Harshit Mitra (25), hailing from Kolkata, pursuing PhD in Chemistry at Central University, at Raya in Vijaypur area of Samba, was today washed away along with his Bullet Motor-cycle in a flooded Nallah near Badhori this morning. He was moving towards University when he got trapped in the flash flood. Later, his bike was recovered from the down stream but the body could not be traced till late this evening. It was raining heavily and many vehicles and bikes had stopped there observing heavy flood. This youth was stopped by a few locals, waiting there not to venture towards the flood but he moved ahead and got trapped in the middle and then washed away along with bike. The police, SDRF men and several students of the CU launched search operation but could not trace him till late this evening.
Meanwhile, Jammu city recorded 189.6 mm rain in 24 hours, the highest downpour in a day in almost 26 years, Metrological department officials here today.
There were flash floods in most of the rivers, including Tawi, Chenab, Basantar, Tarnah, Ujh which inundated low-lying areas and damaged infrastructure. Two landslides were reported in Panjtirthi and Circular Road, causing damage to road, a building and several some vehicles.
The flash floods damaged small bridges in Kalika Colony, washed away a wall of Satsang Ghar, a spiritual centre, and a vehicle in Bantalab area. Hundreds of houses in several colonies in Jammu City including Jawahar Nagar, New Plot, Toph Sher Khanian, Subash Nagar, Muthi, Barnai, Swarn Vihar, Anuradha Puram, Udheywalla, Talab Tillo, Ajit Colony, Bohri, Nanak Nagar, Gangyal, Chowadi, Sunjuwan, Greater Kailash and other low lying areas were inundated and traffic came to a halt due to water-logging, prompting the district administration to sound a flood alert.
According to the MeT department, this is the highest 24-hour rainfall in August for Jammu city since 1996. The city had recorded 218.4 mm of rainfall on August 23, 1996. The all-time highest rainfall, 228.6 mm, in Jammu city was recorded on August 5, 1926, it said.
Katra town, which serves as the base camp for pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district, recorded a 77.8 mm rainfall in 24 hours.
The flood level in Tawi river was around 11 ft today while in Chenab at Akhnoor it was around 27 ft water level during the mid day today. In Tarnah river several cattle were washed away in Dinga Amb and Mangloor area during this morning.
Due to landslides, several roads in Reasi, Mahore and Sungari- Chassana area were closed today. A large portion of the road was washed away near Chassana today and the road has been closed. A branch of the tree fell on a Maruti Swift car on Reasi-Katra road, but the passengers escaped unhurt.
Due to flash flood in Salwah Nallah in Mendhar, the culvert was washed away. It also caused damage to the road. The link to the several villages remained snapped due to flood in the Nallah. The movement of the vehicles has been stalled due to damage caused to the culvert. The people and students were crossing through the Nallah by risking their lives. The locals are demanding a bridge on this Nallah since long.