Flood threat eases in Kashmir

Srinagar: The flood threat in Kashmir eased today as overnight rainfall, which had led to slight rise in water level of River Jhelum, stopped.

Jhelum was flowing at 14.10 feet at Sangam in south Kashmir, nearly nine feet below the danger mark, while the water level at Ram Munshi Bagh in the city was 15.25 feet, an official of the Flood Control Department said.

Yesterday's rainfall had resulted in an increase in the water level of Jhelum but there was no immediate threat of floods, he said. "The weather has improved since late last night and if it holds like this, the worst phase might already be over," the official said. He, however, said moderate rainfall was forecast for tomorrow at many places in the Valley but it should not lead to a flood situation.

Even as the weather has improved, authorities here are taking no chances and they have put in place measures to deal with any eventuality. "All the contingency plans are in place... temporary shelters have been set up for people evacuated from flood prone areas," an official of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) said. He said NDRF and SDRF teams have been put on a stand by.

An army official said they also put several measures in place to help the people in affected areas of the Valley in dealing with the situation obtaining due to heavy rains. "We have earmarked one column (of nearly 75-100 personnel) in each company Operating Base (COB) ready to respond to any eventuality," the official said.

He said three composite rescue groups constituting of Infantry, Engineers, EME and Army Medical Corps have been set up at Badamibagh Cantonment, Old Airfield and Zainakot. "All dewatering pumps held with Army are deployed in the low lying areas," he added.

Heavy rainfall since Saturday has resulted in death of 15 persons in Chadoora area of Budgam district, one in Udhmapur district while another person is feared dead. The deaths took place when a residential house at village Laden vanished due to caving in of earth caused by heavy rains.

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