Heavy rains, cloudburst whiplash Jammu
Heavy rains, cloudburst whiplash Jammu

JAMMU — Intense rainfall coupled with cloudbursts triggered massive flash floods in Jammu parts, damaging many residential houses and other structures on Thursday.

As per reports by the news agency KNO, dozens of houses and structures suffered damage due to rains, flash floods and landslides in Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Udhampur and Reasi districts.

Authorities rescued some school children and teachers on the city outskirts while some bridges were washed away and scores of vehicles were stuck on roads and highways in various districts of the region.

The Jammu-Srinagar national highway was also closed for traffic due to landslides and shooting stones in the Ramban district, resulting in the halting of the Amarnath Yatra at Chanderkot.

The water level of most of the rivers like Chenab, Tawi, Ujh, Basantar and other Nallahs was running above the danger mark.

Officials said that the entire region recorded heavy rainfall since early Thursday morning, adding that rainfall in Jammu between 8.30 hours to 9.30 hours recorded around 98 mm, which is close to a cloudburst (100mm).

“In Jammu, police and locals swung into action and rescued students and teachers trapped in a school building due to flash floods in the Muthi-Udhaywala area,” the officials said.

Several people escaped unhurt when an old building collapsed due to heavy rains in the Kanak Mandi area. “Most of the roads and dozens of colonies in Jammu city were inundated due to heavy rainfall gauged over 80 mm in a few hours,” they said.

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The officials said that the worst-affected areas in Jammu city due to the rainfall and subsequent flash floods were Nanaknagar, Trikuta Nagar, Channi, Bahu Fort, Keran, lower Roopnagar, Kangrail, Raipur, Kot-Bhalwal, Burn and Ghrota, Paloura, Takab Tillo, Channi Himmat and other low-lying areas where the rainwater entered houses.

“Dozens of vehicles were trapped on a highway in Kathua. In Kishtwar, a foot-bridge was washed away in the Afti area,” the officials said. “In Reasi district, the new track to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop the Trikuta hills was closed as a precautionary measure following heavy rains in the area.”

As per the advisory, those residing in slide-prone areas should remain extra vigilant and report any untoward incident to the administration at the earliest.

“The Amarnath Yatra convoys that left Jammu have been halted at Chanderkote. Travellers are advised not to undertake the journey before confirming the status of the highway from our control rooms in Jammu and Srinagar,” a department official said.

Meanwhile, during the past 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) observed rainfall and thunderstorms at many places in Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan and Muzaffarabad.

Furthermore, the IMD forecast adds that fairly widespread showers, along with isolated heavy falls (64.5 mm-115.5 mm), thunderstorms and lightning, may very well continue over Jammu-Kashmir on Thursday and Friday, (July 28-29).

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Accordingly, the IMD’s regional MeT centre in Srinagar has issued an Orange Alert (‘be prepared’ for rough weather) over the districts of Jammu, Kathua and Kishtwar on Thursday and Friday. All the other districts will remain on a Yellow Alert (‘be aware’ of local weather) during this 48-hour period.

Since the beginning of July, Jammu-Kashmir has collectively recorded 164.9 mm precipitation, which marks a 4% increase compared to its average for this time frame. However, these rain figures look set to bloat further owing to the ongoing rain spell.

In fact, these intense rains will also engulf the neighbouring northern and north-western states until August 1, with Himachal, Uttarakhand, north Haryana and Chandigarh prone to receiving very heavy precipitation over the next 2-3 days.

Three houses damaged due to incessant rains in Budgam

At least three residential houses were damaged after the land caved in the Rawatpora Khag area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Thursday.

Official sources, as per news agency KNT, said that three houses were damaged after land sunk due to wet weather. They said no local, however, has been injured.

The damaged houses belong to Abdul Rashid Dar, Abdul Rashid Rather and Abdul Gani Bhat.

Police and some officials from the administration have rushed to the spot to assess the quantum of loss. All the residents have been shifted to a safe location.

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