Yatra suspended, MeT says major floods unlikely but it’s better to be prepared
Srinagar, June 29: Continuous rains in Kashmir Valley swelled the Jhelum river to breach floods declaration level in south Kashmir even as meteorological department predicted improvement in the weather from tomorrow.
According to an official of Irrigation and Flood Control Kashmir, the river Jhelum was flowing at 21.62-ft at Sangam at 8 p.m. which is above the mark of 21-ft at Sangam when the flood is declared in south Kashmir.
“The habitation residing along the embankments of River Jhelum / Nallahs and in low lying areas of South Kashmir are advised to remain vigilant,’ Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control said. Besides the staff deputed on flood duty in South Kashmir is directed to report to their respective sectors/beats, he added.
The river Jhelum was flowing at 13.34-ft at Ram Munshibagh at 6 p.m, the official said. The flood ‘is sounded in Central Kashmir when level crosses 16 ft and ‘flood’ is declared when it surges over 19 feet, the officials said.
At Asham in Bandipora district, the official said, the water level of Jhelum was 4.83-ft against 13-ft mark when flood alarm is sounded in north Kashmir. The flood is declared when the level at Asham crosses 14-ft mark.
Regarding some tributaries, the official said, the water level in Vishow Nallah at Khudwani was 9.08 m, 4.14 mm in Rambiyara Nallah at Vachi while the nallah Lidder at Batkoot was at 1.61m.
Heavy rains lashed several parts of the Valley, including the summer capital here and according to a meteorological department official south Kashmir’s Kokernag received the highest rainfall of 63.4 mm till 8:30 am on Friday morning. Its neighbouring Qazigund town, the MeT official said, received 58.6 mm of rainfall
Srinagar had 12.6 mm of rainfall till 8:30 am but the intensity of rains increased after that, the official said.
He said Pahalgam one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra which commenced on Thursday received 27.8 mm of rains.
Meanwhile, the weather department predicted some improvement in the weather from Saturday afternoon.
“Presently the main system is moving north- west ward of Jammu and Kashmir including Poonch, Rajouri and Kupwara side.
Although there is been a slight improvement and there will be improvement tomorrow forenoon,” director of the local meteorological department sonam lotus told GNS.
He said there was moderate, and at place heavy, rainfall at due to monsoon and western disturbance. “There is the interaction of monsoon cloud and monsoon wind– and western disturbance — easterly and westerly which brought the moisture from Arbian sea and Bay of Bengal also and due to their convergence the rainfall occurred here.”
He said there can be a landslide in the sloppy area, flash flood, minor flood and water logging in low lying areas. “People are requested to remain calm but vigilant, prepared and not to spread rumours of flood. Looking at the forecast, the threat of a major flood is highly unlikely but nevertheless, it is always good to be prepared,” he said.
Meanwhile, Yatra was suspended in view of continuous rainfall in entire Valley.
In a review meeting held here today Shri Umang Narula, CEO, Shrine Board, informed the Governor N.N. Vohra, who is Chairman of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, that movement of pilgrims to the Shrine via the Baltal route was totally suspended due to the non-stop rainfall in the entire Yatra area since 27th June night, keeping in view the safety of Yatris. However, 1263 pilgrims proceeded from the Pahalgam/ Chandanwari route to Sheshnag on Friday morning.
At the close of the second day of the Yatra 1,287 pilgrims paid obeisance at Holy Cave. (GNS)