Two feared dead, tourists among many saved; Jhelum crosses danger mark

Snowfall at Sheshnag on Shri Amarnath yatra route (left) and flash floods at Bemina in Srinagar on Wednesday. -Excelsior pics by Sajad Dar & Shakeel
Snowfall at Sheshnag on Shri Amarnath yatra route (left) and flash floods at Bemina in Srinagar on Wednesday. -Excelsior pics by Sajad Dar & Shakeel

Nomads along with sheep stuck in snow

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, June 22: The fresh snowfall in the hills coupled with incessant rains across Kashmir caused flash floods with main tributaries in the Valley including river Jhelum flowing above danger mark while two people were feared dead after they were trapped in the hills of South Kashmir.

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The incessant rains continued till this afternoon across Kashmir leading to floods in many parts of the Valley. The river Jhelum crossed the danger mark in Sangam in Anantnag and Ram Munshibag in Srinagar.
Due to the incessant rains, water level in river Jhelum and some of its tributaries touched danger mark this evening.
The water level in Jhelum crossed the 21 feet danger level at Sangam and 18 feet mark in Ram Munshi Bagh in the evening, triggering panic.
The water level in Vaishaw Nallah at Khudwani area of Kulgam was well above the danger mark this morning but the water level receded in the evening.
The water level in Nallah Sindh and Nallah Lidder was about to touch danger but it started receding after significant improvement in weather conditions.
Water level in Rambiyara Nallah at Wachi, Doodhganga at Barazulla, Sukhnag Nallah at Arizal, Ferozpur Nallah at Drung and Pohru Nallah at Seelu was below danger mark.
An official said that water level in wader bodies of south Kashmir has started receding but it is gradually increasing in Jhelum at Srinagar.
The weather, however, improved this afternoon bringing some respite to the people. The Weatherman forecast dry weather for the next one week.
Two tourists including a local tourist guide are feared dead while a group of 11 tourists have been rescued who were stuck around Tarsar lake near Sikwas Pahalgam area of South Kashmir today.
An official said that a group of 13 tourists including three local guides were on way to see sight when it got stuck in Tarsar Lake at Sikwas Pahalgam, adding that when tourists along with guides were walking near the lake, a tourist guide along a tourist drowned into the water while the others got stuck there.
He added that a tourist guide identified as Dr Shakeel Ahmad of Gagangeer Ganderbal and tourist Dr Mahesh from Ganderbal, who drowned in the water, are still missing and efforts are on to trace them.
Tehsildar Pahalgam Hussian Ahmad said that soon after receiving the information about the incident a rescue team was dispatched who have already saved 11 persons while efforts are on to find the two missing persons.
He added that 11 have reached Aru Pahalgam where they have been given first aid.
Nearly half a dozen vehicles carrying 25 tourists were also stuck at Sinthan top road in Kokernag area of Anantnag district were also rescued.
The higher reaches of Kashmir especially Affarwat area of Gulmarg, Tulail, Gurez, hilly areas of Kangan in Ganderbal district located in upper reaches of Pir Panjal mountain ranges and others experienced fresh snowfall, leading to the closure of many roads including Gurez-Bandipora, Mughal Road and Srinagar-Jammu highway.
In Budgam district, the flash floods took place in the wee hours this morning at Garipora area of Bemina in the outskirts of Srinagar when the embankment of Garipora flood canal breached.
The locals said that the water entered almost every house in the area where the officials of Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) with the men from other Government departments did restoration work.
The breach in nallahs were also reported in Sopore and Tangdhar areas of northern districts where the restoration work was started.
In Kulgam, 24 nomadic families were evacuated and have been shifted to safer places after they were stuck near the banks of Vaishaw and Sunman nallahs due to flash floods.
A police spokesman said that Police Stations Yaripora, Kund, Devsar and Police post Mirbazar received the distress calls for assistance from the people residing in higher reaches of Kanchloo Kund, and on the banks of Vaishow and Sunman Nallahs stated that 24 families residing in temporary tents needs to be evacuated immediately as their residential places (Tents) were completely damaged because of heavy rainfall and the families living on the banks of Vaishow and Sunman Nallahs were stuck due to flash floods.
“On tip off, police teams led by SHO Kund, SHO Devsar, SHO Yaripora and IC PP Mirbazar under the close supervision of SSP Kulgam were constituted to rescue the families. With strenuous efforts of the police parties all the 24 families were evacuated and have been shifted to safer places,” police said.
In an another incident after a distress call from the residents of Sanyadi DK Marag, DH Pora during the intervening night of 21/22 June, 2022 was received and promptly; a police team of Police Station DH Pora led by SHO DH Pora under the supervision of SSP Kulgam was constituted who on tip off reached the spot along with SDRF team where water with full flow was entering the village after one bank of the Nallah was breached and there were apprehensions of major damage to property and lives of the said area.
Meanwhile, several roads including Srinagar-Jammu highway, Gurez-Bandipora road and Mughal road have been closed for the traffic after fresh snowfall and landslides triggered by heavy rains.
Incessant rains wreaked havoc as several roads and bridges were damaged across Kashmir.
An official said that a vital bridge in the Gund-Qaiser area of Bandipora was also damaged by flash floods and later it was closed for traffic.
A footbridge connecting Alyalpora to Nagbal in Shopian was washed away while a bridge was damaged in Trehgam area of Kupwara. Also, a footbridge was washed away by flash floods in Pendobal Kokernag.
In Peth Makhama Budgam, a bridge was closed for traffic as it turned unsafe due to flood-like situation.
Several roads including a part of road from Achan to Heff in Shopian was damaged. A dozens of main and vital roads were submerged in water at several places and at some places water was flowing over bridges.
At least 70 livestock which include sheep, goat and some cows were killed due heavy rains in Kashmir.
An official said that 66 sheep and cows were killed in the high altitude area of Budgam where Chopan families go to graze livestock during summer months.
“14 sheep were killed due to cloudburst at Dourien, 8 were killed at Ladermad as a pine tree fell on them, some were killed due to hypothermia and some were killed due to non availability of feed,” he added.
He said that they have advised shepherds in all 12 highland altitude points in district Budgam to return till weather improves.
“Primary reports said that out of 2.5 lakh sheep, 66 died due to bad weather for the past few days,” he said.
The nomad families along with cattle were stuck at Diskhal, Hamkhal, Daandeer, Frasnaag, Meachi khanen, Dragtolan, Bargah, Chidak and Tosamaidan due to untimely snowfall.
In Ganderbal, administration has deputed officials to review /check situation at Dourinar, Vishensar, Gadsar, Loundisulban, Sonamarg, Ganderbal, Mahlish, Kulan Gumri, Mengandob, Salnai and Jawdara. However, no loss of any livestock or human life has been reported from district.