Sewa river wreaks havoc in Bani; alert sounded after flood in Ravi, Ujh, Tawi

Flooded Sewa river wreaks havoc at Bani in Kathua district on Sunday. —Excelsior/Pardeep
Flooded Sewa river wreaks havoc at Bani in Kathua district on Sunday. —Excelsior/Pardeep

NH blocked for 11 hrs, 29 villagers trapped

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, Sept 23: With the constant rain since last night in entire Jammu region, the day temperature in winter capital city has gone 9 degree below normal, providing a great sigh of relief to the people from heat here while the traffic on Jammu- Srinagar National highway remained suspended for about 11 hours due to landslides at several places near Chenani and Ramban, the flood in river Sewa created havoc in remote Bani area of Kathua whereas, due to flood in Ravi, Ujh and Tawi rivers, the authorities have sounded alert in the low lying areas.
In Billawar area of district Kathua, the SDRF team and local police failed to rescue nine villagers from Baral island, who have been trapped in the middle of the meeting point of the rivers Pinni and Naz since noon. They had gone to their paddy fields in the island and got trapped in the flood for the whole day. The members of these two families sought help of the administration and then the SDRF team and police reached the spot in the evening.
The flood level was high and the teams failed to rescue them till 9 pm when the last reports came in here. A van and a bike also washed away in the flood at this village. Twenty members of Gujjar families have been trapped in Ujh river at Jakhol and Pandori in Kathua.
ADC Billawar Joginder Singh said that due to heavy flood in Pinni, the approach road to the bridge connecting Billawar-Mahanpur and Basohli developed major cracks. He said that the traffic on this bridge was suspended this evening. Click here to watch video
Reports from Bani area of Kathua said that since 1988, the locals have not witnessed such a furious flood in Sewa river which was seen today. The water level was flowing more than five feet above the danger mark. It entered the local stadium and park and also caused some damage to the walls and houses near the river.
The authorities sounded alert and warned people to leave their houses situated closer to the river. The movement on two local foot bridges was restricted. A PHE employee was trapped in the tube well at the river and he was rescued by police and local using ropes.
A Kucha house of one Hukum Chand, son of Roshan Lal, resident of Daggar in Bani was collapsed today due to rain.
However, no loss of human life was reported. The SDM Bani has ordered closure of schools in the entire Bani sub division due to bad weather.
The power supply to entire Bani Sub Division, including Loang, Daggar, Dugan, Machendi and Lohai Malhar has been snapped. And moreover, Basohli-Bani, Hut Mashkan, Dhar- Mahanpur roads have been closed, Additiional DC Basohli, Sanjay Gupta said.
Due to flood in river Ravi and Ujh, the flood gates were opened by the authorities today. The alert has been sounded in all the low lying areas. Twenty members of Gujjar families have been trapped in flooded Ujh river near Jakhol and Pandori in district Kathua.
The DC Kathua has asked SDRF teams to rush to the site and carry out rescue operation.
A Traffic official said that due to landslides after rains at Kheri and Moud near Udhampur and three places near Ramban, the traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National highway during early morning was suspended. He said while road was restored in Ramsu and Ramban areas shortly besides Kheri, the road at Moud could be cleared only around 4 pm.
He said the traffic remained suspended on the highway for about 11 hours. The one way traffic could be restored in the evening. The traffic between Doda and Kishtwar was also suspended at Kuligarh near Thathri as precautionary measures after some shooting stones this afternoon.
Entire Chenab region in general and Bhaderwah – Bhalessa in particular has been lashed by heavy rains since last evening, triggering apprehensions of floods on Sunday.
Hostile weather and continuous rain coupled with flash floods since last 24 hours in most parts of Chenab valley forced district administration to order closure of all the educational institutions on Monday in district Doda and also in rural belt of Kishtwar.
The torrential rains picked up the steam after a 10 days of sunny sky with high temperatures being recorded in the Valley and even at high altitude meadows.
The western disturbance that has been active over Jammu and Kashmir and Himalayan areas is causing bouts of rain in the region, with the sky mostly remaining cloudy since Saturday.
In the past 24 hours, it rained more than 82 mm at Bhadarwah and Doda. Banihal and Batote recorded a rainfall of around 80 mm.
The continuous rain triggered heavy flood in Neeru River and Hail nullah of Bhaderwah besides flash floods were also reported from different streams and nullahs of Bhalessa, Doda, Dessa and Marmat areas. Dr Yash Pal and one Vinod Kumar were injured due to land slides on Ramnaghar-Basantgarh road today. They were shifted to Ramnagar hospital.
People residing near the banks of Neeru Nallah and it’s tributaries were advised to be very vigil and avoid crossing temporary bridges/ crossings over Nallas.
Keeping in view the hostile weather, CEO Doda Mohd Sharief Chauhan has ordered closure of all the schools for Monday.
Ramnagar-Basantgarh, Chenani-Lati-Dudu road was also closed due to landslides. One Des Raj of Kirchi, Dudu was rescued due to flood in Tawi while Mohd Sharief of Shabbe Chak near Rajbagh was rescued from river Ujh by police and NDRF.
A MeT spokesman said that Jammu recorded a maximum temperature of 23.6 degree Celsius which is about 9 degree below normal (33.3 deg C) today. The minimum temperature in Jammu was 18.7 degree degrees celsius. Bhaderwah recorded a minimum temperature of 10.3 degrees celsius and maximum 13.8 deg C while holy township of Katra maximum 20.0 deg C and minimum 16.7 degree C.
Jammu recorded a rainfall of 88.8 mm, Katra 85 mm , Bhaderwah 47 mm and Batote 61 mm during past 24 hours. Water logging was witnessed at several places in Jammu and it affected the movement of traffic. Tawi river was also flooded and authorities sounded alert in the low lying areas of Tawi Island villages. In the afternoon, the weather showed some improvement. In next 24 hours, the Met official has predicted rain in many places across the region.