Woman, 25 cattle die in house collapse

A passenger bus trapped in flash flood at Pacca Kotha on Dayala Chak-Billawar road on Saturday. —Excelsior/Pardeep

Traffic suspended for 3 hrs on NH

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, July 27: As heavy rain in many parts of the region wrecked havoc, an elderly woman and her 25 cattle were buried alive in a house-collapse in Doda area while traffic on Jammu- Srinagar National Highway remained suspended for about three hours due to landslides whereas, three vehicles were damaged in shooting stones in Ramban area today.
About 55 passengers had miraculous escape as a Billawar- Jammu-route bus, nearly washed away in flash flood at Parngoli Khud and was struck with side pole at a culvert near Dinga Amb this morning. All the passengers were later rescued by locals from Pacca Kotha and Pranjali by using two JCBs and ropes. The incident took place at around 8.30 am when the vehicle was on way to Jammu from Billawar. The traffic remained suspended for over two hours on the road.
In yet another incident, some Shri Amar-nath Ji pilgrims also had narrow escape when shooting stones hit their vehicles at land sliding zone, Battery Chashma near Ramsu in district Ramban today.
Reports from Doda said that a 82 year old woman and her 25 cattle were killed, while her son got seriously injured when a landslide triggered by heavy rain hit their muddy house in Baggar area of Doda district on Saturday.
SP Operations, Ravinder Pal Singh said that due to continuous rains since Thursday, a huge landslide came down on the house of Isher Dass early today at around 6 a.m. Entire structure and sleeping inmates and cattle were buried under the debris.
Singh said that after receiving information from locals, a police team immediately reached the spot and started rescue operation along with locals to retrieve inmates from the debris.
“After 2 hours of hectic efforts, mother and son were shifted to District Hospital Doda, where doctors declared mother as brought dead, while son is under going treatment,” the SP said adding that over two dozen of cattle also got killed in the incident.
The deceased has been identified as Ashru Devi (82), wife of Sant Ram from Ramgarh (Bagger) in block Assar. The injured has been identified as Ishar Dass (58), son of Sant Ram. Another house of one Ghulam Hussain was damaged due to rain in Kilhotran area of Bhallessa in Doda today. However, no loss of human life was reported.
Reports from Ramban said that Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was blocked at around 10.45 am after landslides at Battery Chashma, Digdol and Panthyal. The yatra convoy from Jammu had crossed the area by that time. But the convoy coming from Kashmir side was struck. The highway was cleared at around 1.30 pm and the traffic restored on the highway. The weather also improved by that time. Shooting stones hit three private passenger vehicles at Battery Chashma and caused damage to window panes and body of the vehicles but all the passengers had narrow escape. The traffic was suspended again for some time after this incident.
Meanwhile, the weatherman has issued an alert, predicting adverse weather to continue for the next 24 hours. The maximum temperature in winter capital Jammu settled at 28.6 degrees Celsius, five notches below the season’s average, a MeT spokesman said. The minimum temperature in the city was recorded at 23.9 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s 25.6 degree Celsius, which is 1.5 degrees below normal, he added. Similarly, the day temperature in summer capital Srinagar was 4.8 degrees below season’s average at 24.7 degrees Celsius.
Srinagar recorded a night temperature of 17.7 degrees Celsius, which is one degree below the normal, the spokesman said. He said Jammu recorded 38.2 mm of rainfall during the day, while the weather remained mostly cloudy in Srinagar. The water logging during morning in Jammu city affected smooth movement of traffic. The intermittent rains since Wednesday increased the water level in all water bodies, including rivers, lakes and streams, but there was no immediate threat of floods, officials said.
Issuing an alert, Director Meteorological Department Sonam Lotus said the intermittent moderate to heavy rains over the past couple of days had left the soil saturated and additional rain may trigger landslides, flash floods and mudslides.
“General public and the State administration are requested to remain cautious for the next few days as weather is adverse and likely to remain so over the next 24 hours,” Lotus added.