Post heavy rainfall govt sounds flood alert across Kashmir Valley, Amarnath Yatra suspended

Authorities on Friday sounded a flood alert as Jhelum river flowed above the critical 21 feet mark at Sangam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district due to heavy rains over the past two days.

“Due to continuous rains from the past two days, the guage at Sangam has crossed the flood declaration of 21 feet and was flowing at 21.33 feet at 6 pm,” an official of the Irrigation and Flood Control department said.

The water level in Jhelum at Ram Munshi Bagh in the city was 13.34 feet at 6 pm, over 4.5 feet below the flood declaration level. He said the people living in areas along the embankments of River Jhelum, other streams and in low lying areas were advised to remain vigilant.

“The staff deputed on flood duty in south Kashmir is directed to report to their sectors and beats,” the official added.

Kashmir valley experienced rainfall over the past couple of days while the downpour intensified in many parts, including the summer capital of the state, on Friday.

An official of the MET office said south Kashmir’s Kokernag, in Anantnag district, received the highest rainfall of 63.4 mm till 8:30 am this morning, while the neighbouring Qazigund received 58.6 mm of rainfall.

Srinagar – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir – recorded 12.6 mm rainfall till 8:30 am but the intensity increased after that, the official said.

The rainfall has led to an increase in the water level in streams and rivers across the valley especially in south Kashmir.

The water level was sharply increasing since the morning, as there has been an increase of around one feet with each hour since 9 am. The fast rising water levels has induced fear among the valley residents of a re-run of 2014 floods that caused widespread devastation and left over 300 persons dead.

Amarnath Yatra suspended
The pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath was suspended on Friday, the second time since it started on Thursday, after heavy rains damaged the tracks, officials said. A weather office official said Pahalgam, one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra – received 27.8 mm of rains.