Three dead, houseboats damaged as Kashmir valley braces for floods

Srinagar is particularly at risk with flood water entering homes in several residential localities. Authorities are racing against time to put emergency measures in place.

Three dead, houseboats damaged as Kashmir valley braces for floods
A photo of a submerged road in Srinagar. (IANS Photo)

Srinagar: Three people lost their lives in Jammu and Kashmir due to heavy rainfall across the state on Saturday. Local officials have declared a flood warning with people close to water bodies being asked to move to safer grounds.

While the flood control department has already declared an emergency, measures at the ground level are being put into place to ensure minimum damage to life and property. In a fearful reminder of floods in 2014, water levels have begun rising in Jhelum and its tributaries. Several houseboats on the banks of river Jhelum were submerged on Saturday and residents had to be rescued to safety. Flood water also entered homes in Srinagar where it has been raining incessantly for two days.

Traffic on the busy Jammu-Srinagar highway has been halted due to fear of floods. It is reported that passengers are being put up in government buildings.

While there are some reports from Saturday evening which point out that water levels in south Kashmir have begun receding, authorities are leaving nothing to chance as more rain is expected in the days to come.

Governor NN Vohra has held a meeting with senior officials to discuss plans to handle any emergency situation while volunteers of disaster management and police officials too are gearing up for what could well turn into a natural calamity.

Natural calamities in the state are usually always followed by political mudslinging and this time is no different. The current situation in the state made Omar Abdullah of the National Conference question why corrective measures were not put into place after the devastating floods four years back. ""What was the PDP-BJP government doing after the devastating floods of 2014? What happened to the dredging of the Jehlum? Why was the carrying capacity of the flood channel not increased? Where did the money go," Omar tweeted on Saturday.

(With inputs from Ieshan Wani)