3 killed, 6 injured as rains wreak havoc in Jammu

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 8/8/2016 12:42:21 AM

Flood alert sounded # Amarnath pilgrimage suspended # IAF evacuates 10 BSF personnel

JAMMU, Aug 7: Two State Forest Corporation (SFC) labourers were among three persons killed and six others were injured on Sunday in three separate cases of house collapse triggered by the overnight heavy rainfall across Jammu region. The pilgrimage to Amarnath cave shrine was suspended due to inclement weather while it was partially suspended through new track of Vaishnodevi cave shrine.
The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was briefly closed for a few hours due to landslide but was later thrown open for traffic.
Following flash floods triggered by heavy rains at higher reaches, flood alert was sounded in Jammu where one person was killed in Phallain Mandal area in a house collapse incident. The people living in low lying areas along Tawi shifted to safer place given the hovering threat of flash floods any time.
In the meanwhile, along Indo-Pakistan border, Indian Air Force (IAF) evacuated 10 Border Security Force (BSF) personnel in MI-17 from their Myan Border Out Post (BoP) after their post was flooded in the wake of overnight heavy rains in the border districts.
Two State Forest Corporation (SFC) labourers died and three others were injured when the roof of a Kachcha house collapsed at Shorara area of Subhar Dhar in Bhaderwah on Sunday. Sources said that roof of a Kachcha house suddenly came down when the labourers of State Forest Corporation were sleeping in a temporary house this afternoon. Within seconds the whole house caved in, leaving for them no room to escape.
After rescue operation launched by other SFC laborers present in the area lasting one hour, dead body of one labourer and four injured were pulled out from the debris and shifted to Sub District hospital, Bhaderwah for medico-legal formalities. However, one critically injured, out of three injured being shifted to District Hospital Doda, died on way at Pranoo village of Doda.
Those died in the mishap were identified as Dost Mohammed, 55, son of Mohammed Sharief and Saifu Din, 30, son of Abdul Quyoom, both residents of Dharaveri village of Gandoh where as injured were identified as Mohammed Akbar, 50, son of Gullah Sheikh, Mohammed Rafi, 25, son of Ghulam Qadir and Saiful Din, 30, son of Sullah Sheikh, all residents of Dharaveri village of Gundoh of Bhaderwah constituency.
Block Medical Officer Bhaderwah Dr Yudhvir Singh Kotwal informed that the cause of this tragic incident was heavy rains during early morning hours today. The condition of other injured, being treated at the hospital, was stable, he told.
Police registered FIR in this connection at Police Station Bhaderwah and further investigation was going on. A team of police and local administration also reached the spot to assess the damage. The house was in a dilapidated state. The incident raised the issue of constructions near the rain-fed drains or nullahs in forest areas and those in a dilapidated condition.
In Jammu, 85-year-old Fateh Chand was killed in house collapse at Prahladpur in Phallain Mandal area.
Flood alert was also sounded in Jammu following heavy rain in which one person was killed even as rivers including Tawi continued to flow above the danger mark. Gushing Tawi waters caused extensive damage to artificial lake project while a large portion of embankment wall washed away, cracks appeared in one of its pillars.
As per Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control the maximum water level of river Tawi recorded today was 19 feet which was 2 feet above the danger mark (17 feet), Chenab was flowing at 34 feet, below the danger mark (34 feet), Basantar at 7 feet against the danger mark of 5.5 feet, Devak was flowing at 4 feet, i.e., 0.25 feet above the danger mark (4.25 feet) and the maximum discharge level of Ujh was recorded at 1,19,000 cusecs against a danger level of 85,000 cusecs.
However, overnight rainfall in Jammu wreaked havoc in most parts of the region. There were reports of house collapse from various places across region. Several areas in the city were inundated due to heavy rains. As the rains stopped late in the afternoon, the water started receding in Tawi to the relief of people living along banks.
In the meanwhile, 10-year-old boy injured yesterday on way to the Vaishnodevi shrine succumbed to injuries, late last night thus taking the toll in the landslide triggered at the cave track by inclement weather to five.
In Kathua district, three persons were today injured when two houses collapsed in Jakhawar village following heavy rain. Rescue teams were soon rushed to the spot and the injured were taken to the nearby hospital, a police officer said. "The condition of a lady was critical and she has been shifted to Government Medical College and Hospital Jammu for treatment whereas the treatment of the other two injured is going on at the local hospital," he said. He said people in several areas were asked to remain cautious in view of the increasing water level in the Ujj river. "The police and the civil administration are keeping an eye on the situation. For now the people have been asked to remain cautious," he said.
The railway traffic on the Jammu-Udhampur railway line was affected as landslides blocked the railway track at several places near Ramnagar station in the district. “Landslides blocked the three tracks of Jammu-Udhampur railway lines. While one track has been cleared, work to clear the debris from the other two tracks is going on,” a police officer said. The pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine of Vaisho Devi was halted through new track.
The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway too was briefly closed for a few hours due to landslide but was later thrown open for traffic.
"The over 300-km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed for vehicular traffic after a massive landslide blocked the highway near Kherri area of the Udhampur district early morning today," a police officer said. "The debris was cleared and the highway was thrown open by the afternoon," the officer said. He said that even as two-way traffic was allowed on the entire highway, only one-way traffic was being allowed in the area that was hit by landslide. "We are advising the drivers to exercise caution while driving as continuous rainfall has made driving difficult," he said.
Most parts of Jammu city remained without electricity for several hours after Canal road grid and Janipur Grid developed snag following which people in Hazuribagh, Bohri, Muthi and Bantalab areas came out in protest.
The patients and attendants Spinal Surgery Ward (near Ward no 2) of Government Medical College Hospital (GMCH) Jammu too were a suffering lot in the wake of roof leakage following heavy rains.
Later in the day, the Minister for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Sham Lal Choudhary visited areas along river Tawi to get first-hand information about the losses caused to life and property due to the rise in water level in view of incessant rains in the region.
During the tour, the minister directed the officers of the concerned department to assess the situation and come out with solutions for immediately restoring the affected areas and preventing further damages. He directed for keeping a close vigil on the situation and take appropriate measures to deal with any exigency.
The minister was informed that the department was regularly monitoring the situation and State Disaster Response Force and Defense forces were kept on high alert for immediately responding to any untoward incident takes place in any part of the region.
Chowdhary directed for taking short and long term steps to prevent floods including developing concrete embankments to prevent any loss to life and property. He directed the engineer to identify the vulnerable areas prone to floods and preparing the DPRs for plugging the gaps.
Meanwhile, the Minister appealed the general public not to venture close to the rivers and refrain from taking their livestock along the rivers for grazing in view of the unprecedented water rise due to monsoon rains.
Earlier in the day, the Minister called an emergency meeting of the engineers of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department to assess the levels of various rivers in the region including Chenab, Tawi, Ujh, Basantar and Devak were flowing.
The minister was informed, in the meeting, that the Ranbir canal and its distributaries were temporarily closed as a remedial measure.
On the other hand pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir too was suspended following heavy rain and landslide in the Jammu region.
The yatra was suspended from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here due to incessant rainfall and landslides at several places on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, a police officer said.
The highway was briefly closed to vehicular traffic in the morning so no fresh batch of pilgrims were allowed to proceed towards the two base camps in the Kashmir Valley.
The police and authorities of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) are monitoring the situation and the decision to resume the pilgrimage will be taken tomorrow if the weather conditions improve, he said. However, on the 37th day of Amarnathji Yatra, 101 Yatris paid obeisance at the holy cave. Till date 2,17,928 Yatris had darshan at the holy cave.
In the meanwhile, MLA Bhaderwah Daleep Singh Parihar expressed grief shock and concern over the death of two labourers and urged district administration to announce compensation to their families and also demanded investigation into whole matter.



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