Srinagar, June 23 (KMS): Heavy rains lashed Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, triggering flash floods and landslides, with authorities forced to shut schools in several districts including Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban and evacuate people from low-lying areas, while the strategic Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained blocked for the second day leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded.
In Kashmir, the Jhelum crossed the danger mark at Sangam in Islamabad district and the water level was rising in other rivers also, officials said.
A high alert has been sounded in areas close to river Chenab and its tributaries, they said.
Snowfall in the higher reaches including the shrine of Amarnath has brought down the day temperature substantially, the officials said.
Police rescued 50 passengers travelling in ten vehicles which were trapped due to snowfall and heavy rains in the high-altitude area in Kishtwar district, officials said.
”Snowfall and heavy rains triggered flash-floods in Simthan top area following which 50 passengers including some women and children, were stranded. The police got the track cleared and after a lot of hard work rescued all the passengers,” an official said.
The water level at Sangam in the Anantnag district was measured at 21.60 ft, marginally above the 21-feet mark for flood declaration, they said.
Vaishov stream, which flows mainly through Kulgam district, was flowing dangerously above the flood alert mark. However, the water level has started receding since 10 am, the officials said.
A breach was reported in a temporary diversion along the banks of Vaishov stream as Chamgund in Kulgam, they said adding many areas of the district have been flooded.
Authorities have started moving people from low-lying areas to safer locations, they said.
The Doodhganga stream was also flowing close to flood alarm level at Barzulla in the heart of Srinagar’s civil lines area.
The weatherman had forecast improvement in weather later in the day.
Schools in many parts of the valley were closed due to the heavy rains which resulted in water logging in low-lying areas.
Many houses in Bemina, Rambagh and Rajbagh areas of the city were affected due to water-logging.
A group of 14 trekkers was stranded near Tarser Lake in south Kashmir and a rescue team was rushed to the spot from Pahalgam.
The snowfall in the upper reaches and rains in the plains have sent the mercury nose diving and Srinagar witnessed its coldest June day in almost 50 years, according to available data.
An incident of house collapse was also reported from Ramban district, while five people trapped in flash floods in river Ans in Reasi district were rescued by the police, officials said.
The Doda district administration has declared high alert in several areas in the mountainous district.
“We have been forced to declare high alert in areas close to river Chenab and its tributaries, and also on slopes and slide-prone areas of Ramban and Doda districts,” an official said.