2 killed, several rescued in flood ravaged Jammu region

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 3/31/2015 12:09:31 AM

JAMMU, Mar 30: Two persons were killed and several families were rescued while over a hundred structures damaged and equal number of live stocks perished in heavy rains and flash floods in Jammu region. The Jammu-Srinagar National highway virtually remain closed with minor relief at stretch near Banihal where some stranded vehicles were allowed to move towards valley.
The power, water, telephone and mobile network besides the connectivity via roads in several districts especiall in Poonch, Rajouri, Doda and Kishtwar remain disrupted since yesterday with landslides and damage to roads at several places. The people living in the areas adjoining river Chenab, Tawi, Ujh, Basantar, Bhini etc were asked not to venture near the banks and to move to higher areas while army and Indian Air Force (IAF) carried several rescued operations to save the marooned people. Government have set up various control rooms in districts which are being monitored by senior officers round the clock.
Romesh Gupta from Udhampur said that a TATA Mobile driver was washed away in a stream (nullah) and two others were injured in a flash flood triggered by heavy rains since yesterday in the district. Police said that a TATA Mobile load carrier vehicle bearing registration number JK14A-4392 carrying two bovine animals, two dogs and some passengers was on its way to Kainth Gali from Batota when the water level of stream (nullah) at Kultiar in Pancheri tehsil suddenly increased due to heavy rains during wee hours.
In the flash flood, driver Angrez Singh (25), son of Chaman Lal of Batoda was washed away and two others were injured, police said, adding that the injured have been shifted to district hospital Udhampur. Singh's body is yet to be recovered, they said, adding, an operation has been launched to trace the body. A cow and a dog were also washed away in the flood water.
In another incident, a villager was washed away in Tawi waters at village Kulakh in Chenani tehsil of Udhampur district. The deceased has been identified as Gorkhu, son of Laju of Kulakh.
Police said that he was crossing the river when all of sudden he fell into it and was washed away. The body was retrieved by the villagers and after autopsy it was handed over to the family members for last rites.
People of Dhanodi village in Udhampur today staged protest against the district administration after the flood water of Bhiron river gushed into their houses, last night. They blamed the administration for not making proper arrangements for plugging the flow of water.
Anubhav Misri from Poonch reported that five houses in the district have been damaged, three of them fully, while power supply to six villages has been affected. Power supply in the upper reaches of Loran, Sawjian, Harimora, Buffliaz and Sangiote is partially affected. Three water supply schemes and seven PWD roads have also suffered damages. Crate & diversion works and head works of 23 Khullas have also been damaged. Nine families have been rescued by the security forces. There is massive loss to approach road of Balley bridge constructed by District administration to facilitate peoples to cross Plusta river, while administration diverted traffic by Kalai bridge where to peoples protested against District administration for not taking timely action to prevent loss from flood.
In view of persistent inclement weather conditions with continuous rains District Police Poonch has set up special teams in the Police Stations and all the SHOs and Incharge Police Posts and their supervisory officers have been directed to make the people aware about the weather conditions and advise them to shift to safer locations and since March 28, 2015, the Police has been on toes 24x7 in order to rescue people wherever they are cut off from the safer areas. Today Police rescued more than 25 people from Chandak, besides livestock and belongings of trapped people from being washed out. At the very outset on March 28, 2015 evening, in view of heavy and unprecedented rainfall in upper reaches of Buffliaz, Chandimarh, Marraha of Surankote area and upper reaches of Loran, Haribudha, Sawjian of Mandi area leading to increase in water flow of river Surankote/Mandi, alert was sound to district administration and all the officers/officials of the District Police were instructed by SSP Poonch to evacuate the people living in low lying area. Acting swiftly, DySP Hqrs/ Ops Poonch and their men, rescued 25 persons from Chandak River and shifted them to safer places/ DH Poonch for treatment under the supervision of ASP Poonch, Sh. Amit Gupta, DySP, DySP Hqrs Deepak Digra, / DySP (Ops) Sheezan Bhat, under the overall supervision of Jatinder Singh Johar-SSP Poonch.
Jatinder Singh Johar SSP Poonch personally supervised the rescue teams and shifted the trapped persons to safer places. Most of the persons were rescued due to yeoman efforts of officers/ jawans of district police Poonch as a result of which no causality reported so far. He said that administration is fully aware of their problems and assured all type of assistance from police to the civil administration. SSP also lauded the role of people and said that these people have faced acute problems due to flash flood but supported the police and other security forces while rescue operations are on in the district. Public of Poonch district appreciated the prompt action of district Police for saving the precious lives, livestock and their property.
District Development Commissioner M H Malik is closely monitoring the situation and has directed the officers of PHE, PDD and PWD to press their men and machinery into action and restore the affected infrastructure at the earliest. CA&PD authorities have also been directed to provide Kerosene and food commodities to the affected families. Moreover, all the vulnerable areas especially those prone to landslides are being monitored.
Reports from Banihal said that six shops collapsed and two residential houses were damaged when a landslide occurred in Banihal market. Giving details police said that during wee hours of morning a patch of land slide down over a number of shops located in Banihal market. Due to the impact of landslide six shops were razed to the ground. Among the six collapsed shops three were belonging to Shahnawanaz and Ansar Ahmed and remaining three shops are of Nazir Ahmad Wani, Haimdullah Wani and Zoyad Ahmed Wani.
Administration announced to vacate all the residential house of Khan Mohalla which fall around the landslip patch and declared the area unsafe. The houses of Mehmood Naqishband Khan, Manzoor Ahmed Sofi, Mursa Begum and a shed of Abdul Rashid Khan damaged. “We were in deep sleep when a part of our house skidded off due to downfall of land mass. We shifted our children to a nearby house. We lost everything including clothes and other belongings which were in three rooms of house,” said a victim Mursa Begum.
In another, incident two houses got damaged in village Mangit of Banihal. Three families were living in these two houses. These houses belonged to Mohammad Ramzan and his two sons.
Official handout, however, said that the incessant rains during the last 24 hours have damaged valuable property of the inhabitants of the district Ramban. According to DDC Ramban Farooq Shah Bukhari a total number of 12 residential structures which includes 1 Pucca and 11 Kacha houses have been damaged due to lashing rains since the last 24 hrs in the district. 6 shops were also severely damaged in these rains.
At Chandrog Maitra as many as 5 residential houses and a mosque have been rendered unsafe due to the land slide in the area adjoining river Chenab. It was informed that due to the excessive precipitation in the months of February and March large landslides occurred at Choor (Sanasar), Tanger, Karma, Chandrog and Karansaul(Kundi) have rendered four habitations unsafe for residing. 127 dwelling houses, 08 cattle sheds, 01 govt building, 92 roads were damaged due to the landslides in these areas and 04 people lost their lives in the district one in the cloud burst and 3 in the avalanches. It was informed that an amount of Rs. 342.71 Lacs has been demanded from the district administration for relief among the affected families.
“The dwelling houses or the cattle sheds inflicted due to excessive snow/ rain have not been covered under SDRF but only landslides and avalanches have been covered in SDRF,” said DDC Bukhari.
Vehicular traffic movement was restored on Jammu-Srinagar national highway in the evening. More than 500 stranded passenger vehicles in Ramban area allowed to cross Magerkot and Gangroo landslides.
Jammu-Srinagar national highway reopened after three days. Only stranded vehicles on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in between Ramban to Udhampur are allowed to cross the landslides fall at Magerkot, Gangroo and Hingni.
After road widening at the sliding areas of Magerkot and Gangroo light motor vehicles was allowed from Jammu to Srinagar but fresh landslides at Gangroo and Hingni blocked all the vehicles in Ramban area. More than stranded 420 passenger vehicles crossed Jawahar tunnel when last reports came in.
The traffic on highway stretch at Kheri in Udhampur remain suspended due to continuous landslides and at-least 1500 vehicles were stranded on the highway. Meanwhile, to take stock of damages to different structures and schemes due to incessant rain in the district, District Development Commissioner, Udhampur, Yasha Mudgal convened a meeting of district officers of various departments, here today.
During the meeting, threadbare discussions were held on different issues which include status of different roads, damage to the private and public property, provision of ration to the stranded commuters. She gave necessary instructions to all the concerned officers to keep their teams ready for handling any kind of adverse situation in the district. She also directed the Assistant director, CAPD to immediately distribute dry ration among the stranded commuters along the Highway.
The DDC said that every possible step is being taken up to provide relief and rehabilitation to the affected people due to incessant rain. She directed the XEN, R&B to clear the landslides from blocked roads and made them open without any delay. She asked the police authorities to share immediately information in case of any emergency situation so that immediate action in this respect is initiated for the welfare of people.
The DDC was also apprised about the damages occurred to the different governmental assets, structure and schemes due to recent heavy rains in the district. It was disclosed in the meeting that as many as 21 transformers, 115 irrigation schemes, 103 flood control structures, 53 schemes of PHE department were damaged while minor damages were also occurred in 07 health institutions and 08 pumping stations of PHE in the district, due to recent heavy rains.
Later, the DDC appealed to the people of Udhampur district not to venture out to higher reaches for the next 48 hrs as there are chances of coming of moderate to heavy avalanches/landslides due to recent heavy rains and hailstorms. She also advised people to avoid to go to nearby rivers/nullahs as there are chances of flash floods in them due to heavy rains.
Among others, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Vikas Sharma, Joint Director Planning, Rakesh Jamwal, Assistant Commissioner, Revenue, Rajeev Magotra, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Arun Sharma, DSP Hqr, Gaurav Mahajan, Executive Engineers, PHE, PDD, Irrigation & flood control and R&B, Tehsildar Udhampur and officers from various department were present in the meeting.
PRO Defence SD Goswami said that the Indian Air Force has placed its recourses on standby and also keeping a close watch on the flood situation in the state. Two MI-17 Helicopters each at Jammu, Udhampur and Srinagar. And one each Cheetah helicopter of IAF are on standby at Srinagar and Jammu to be part of rescue and relief operations. IAF has assured civil administration of all possible assistance in this time of crisis.
As part of rescue and relief operations the troops of Army’s White Knight Corps in a daring act rescued 24 villagers of Chandak villagers near Kalai bridge, he added.
Lt Col Manish Mehta PRO (Defence) said that heavy rains have been sweeping the entire Jammu Kashmir for the past two to three days. The areas South of Pir Panjal mountains have seen flash floods and the connected devastation in September last year when Army had undertaken swift and most commendable rescue and relief operation under the Operation Megh Rahat. Army columns now of the White Knight Corps are on standby for rescue and relief operation South of Pirpanjal under close coordination with civil authorities. The Army’s Engineers and Other fighting arms stand fully ready and prepared to save precious lives.
In a daring act Army, today, rescued 24 villagers of Chandak village near Kalai bridge. The situation would have gone uncontrollable had it not been the swift intervention by local Army officials and Engineers who immediate moved in with alacrity and saved these precious lives. Army is monitoring the situation very closely.
Reports from Kathua said that due to heavy rains in the month of February and march, one loss of human life has been reported so far in tehsil Bani of Kathua district besides 15 Kacha houses are reported to be fully damaged, 82 Kacha houses partially damaged and 5 Kacha houses are reported to be severely damaged.
In Sub Division Bani 7 Kachha houses are reported to be fully damaged, 5 Kachha houses severely damaged and 19 kaccha houses have been reported to be partially damaged besides 1 cattle shed is reported to be damaged in the area. In Sub-Division Hiranagar 2 Kacha houses are reported to be partially damaged and in tehsil Dinga-Amb 1 Kacha house is reported to be fully damaged besides 14 numbers of livestock have been reported to be dead due to heavy rains. In Sub-Division Billawar, 20 Kacha houses were partially damaged and 1 cattle shed damaged, besides 24 livestock were reported dead. In Tehsil Lohai Malhar 27 Kacha houses have been reported to be partially damaged whereas in Tehsil Ramkote 3 Kacha houses fully damaged and 10 Kacha Houses are reported to be partially damaged.
In Sub-Division Basohli 4 Kacha houses have been reported to be fully damaged Whereas In tehsil Mahanpur 2 cattle sheds have also been reported to be damaged, 4 Kacha houses partially damaged and as many as 7 deaths of livestock animals were also reported. In tehsil Kathua 7 livestock animals were reported dead due to heavy rains.
District Development Commissioner Kathua Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary has informed that the district administration has pressed into action all departments for response and relief besides a Control Room has been established to monitor the situation. He also said that the losses will be assessed accordingly for which necessary instructions to all SDM's and Tehsildars have already been given.



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