13 of family killed as landslides hit residential house in Thanamandi
At least 13 members of a family were killed Friday after massive landslides hit a residential house in Thanamandi town of this border district in Jammu region. The overall death toll due to flashfloods and incessant rains crossed 80 in the region even as major rivers and their tributaries in the province continued to flow above the danger level.
Reports said the incident took place in Ward No 7 of Thanamandi town where massive landslides triggered from an adjoining hillock hit the house of Nazakat Hussain, dismantling the entire structure. “The bodies of all the 13 family members have been retrieved from the debris after several hours of rescue operation,” a police official, present on the spot, told Greater Kashmir.
He said heavy downpour loosened the earth in the area and dislodged rocks and boulders atop the hillock which ultimately fell on the house and dismantled it.
“Locals, police, State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the army personnel were engaged in a joint relief and rescue operation,” the official said.
The deceased have been identified as Nazakat Hussain (35); His wife, Gulzar Begum (26); His two sons Mumtaz Ali (14) and Zulfikar Ali (12); Hamida Begum (55) wife of Muhammad Khan; Nazia Kousar (30) wife of Mehmood Khan and her children including son Amir Sajad (4) and three daughters, Semara (7), Iram Firdous (8), Masa (3); Two children of Abdul Rashid, including son Muhammad Rayaz (18) and daughter Sleema (15). Sources said Fazal Hussain son of Kala resident of Mangot village, who had taken shelter in the house, also died.
DEATH TOLL IN JAMMU FLOODS CROSSES 80
Meanwhile, the overall death toll due to flashfloods and incessant rains crossed 80 in Jammu region on Friday even as major rivers and their tributaries in the province continued to flow above the danger level. These deaths include 50 persons who are feared killed when a bus they were travelling in was swept away in Gambir Nallah in Lam-Nowshera area of Rajouri district on Thursday.
Official sources said over 500 houses have also been washed away in flashfloods or damaged due to landslides, with maximum loss of property reported from the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri.
They said two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have arrived here, one of which has been sent to Rajouri and another to Jammu for rescue operations.
About damage to private property, he said, several hundred houses have been damaged across the region and initial assessment has put the number of houses washed away in floods or those collapsed due to rains and landslides, at 500.
Sources said during the day-long searches, 25 bodies were retrieved from river Ghambir in Lam-Nowsehra area where the bus carrying marriage party was washed away by flashfloods yesterday. They said the continuous downpour and strong flow of water is hampering searches.
Reports said about 1000 persons marooned in flooded Pargawal border area of Akhnoor tehsil, alongside river Chenab, were evacuated by the Indian Air Force (IAF) Chopper MI-17 on Friday. “Villagers trapped in Mathwar area also located alongside the river were evacuated to safer places by police and army personnel,” sources said.
They said the water level in Chenab, as gauged at 12 O’clock Friday, was recorded as 16-feet above the danger mark.
Sources said the rescue teams, including those from the IAF, are also evacuating people trapped along river Tawi in Balicherana area on the Jammu city outskirts.
Five people were killed Friday evening after a landslide hit Hill Kala area in this border district, officials said.
One person died and two others of a family were injured at Gagrian village of Mandi Tehsil in Poonch after their house collapsed due to incessant rains, police said. The deceased was identified as Faid Muhammad.
Sources also four more people died in Sawjiyan village on LoC in Poonch district when a house was hit by landslides triggered by incessant rains.
As per official sources, over 120 families trapped amid flashfloods in river Surn in Bela and Potha villages of Surankote Tehsil could not be evacuated as the rescue teams failed to reach the spot due to heavy rains. “Even air-lifting of the trapped persons is impossible due to continuous rains and rising water levels in the area,” they said.
Sources said there is grave threat to the lives of the trapped people as water level in the river continues to increase. “The flood water has surrounded the entire area and the people are marooned amid an island under open sky,” they said.
They said the Rajouri-Poonch highway has been washed away at several places, which is making it extremely difficult for the relief teams to move around. Sources said two foot-bridges were washed away in Kulani and Sathra villages of Mandi Friday.
In Panjgariam village of district Rajouri, a teenage girl slipped in a local stream and was washed away by strong water currents while a two-year-old child was washed away in Kakora village last night, sources said.
Three persons including a couple and their daughter died in Kotranka area after their house collapsed, police said. The deceased have been identified as Muhammad Aslam, his wife Razia Bi and their daughter, Rubina.
Rakia Bagum wife of Muhammad Shabir of Aroot Dhral died when she came under landslides while working in her fields. “An old man died in Sunderbani area when he slipped into a flooded water channel,” sources said.
Around 80 residential houses were fully damaged due to incessant rains and floods across the Udhampur district, sources said.
As per the district administration, 10 houses were fully damaged and 14 partially due to incessant rains and floods at various places across the district.
They said 61 persons trapped amid flashfloods at various places were rescued and kept at Relief Camps established by the administration. “At Rajbagh 55 persons were rescued from flooded Ujh river, three at Kore Punnu in Hiranagar and three in Billawar,” an official spokesperson said.
He said Ujh river was flowing several feet above the danger mark with 1,06,217 cusecs discharge against the normal of 60,000 Cusecs at 1 pm Friday.
In Ramban district, maximum loss of private property has been reported in Gool area. As per reports, several dozen buildings including schools and residential houses were damaged due to incessant rains and flashfloods there. Around 15 foot bridges were also washed away in strong current of flood waters at various places, they said.
Reports also two towers of 133-KVA line collapsed in Ramsoo area due to which the entire Banihal Tehsil plunged into darkness.