Flood situation worsens, most parts of Srinagar submerged

  • Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Sep 08, 2014 19:17 IST

In spite of clear sky since Saturday evening, the flood situation in the Valley has worsened in the last 12 hours.

Major parts of the Srinagar city, including the Lal Chowk, army cantonment and Civil Lines areas were submerged on Saturday night. All vital roads remain cut off and people are stranded in the deluged areas.

Waterlogging has hit the important installations like the civil secretariat and Jammu and Kashmir high court. Even hospitals like the Childrens' hospital in Sonawar and Srinagar's sole government maternity hospital Lal Ded have been badly affected by waterlogging.

Srinagar's commercial centre which remained accessible during the last five days got inundated on Sunday morning after the Jehlum breached its embankment in the area. The residents have been advised to evacuate their homes. "We have been advised to move out of our homes as water is moving into the Lal Chowk very fast,'' said R Altaf, a resident of Press Colony in Lal Chowk.

Most parts of the Civil Lines areas got submerged during the Saturday night creating much panic in the city.

"Water started spreading into our colony after 12 and by 3 am our first floor was submerged,'' said Syed Anju, a resident of Qamarwari where residential areas were submerged after the Jehlum breached its embankment near Chanapora.

The embankments of the Jhelum were breached at many places due to rise in the water level, submerging areas like Badamibagh, Sonawar, Rajbagh, Kursu, Natipora, Nowgam and Old Barzulla.

While army and local police have evacuated thousands of people, tens of thousands remain stranded in the upper stories of their houses in Civil Lines area.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has undertaken an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.

Modi, who arrived in Jammu, held the meeting at the Jammu's Technical Airport and was briefed by chief minister Omar Abdullah on the devastation caused by the floods which have claimed 116 lives so far. He reached the Kashmir Valley in the afternoon.

According to PMO, the decision on the Prime Minister's visit came following a review meeting called by him after being briefed on Saturday by home minister Rajnath Singh, who had earlier returned to the national capital after surveying the flood-affected regions of the state.

While weathermen predict clear skies in the coming days, waterlogging has disrupted communications system. Most mobile internet services from private cellular companies have been affected.

Meanwhile, chief minister Abdullah said that the situation in the Jammu region.

"The union home minister has assured us that there will be no dearth of money for relief and rehabilitation work", Abdullah said.

The chief minister said the state is facing shortage of boats to rescue people marooned in over 300 villages which have been cut off completely.

"We have arranged every possible boat, about 250-300 boats available in Srinagar and surrounding areas have been pressed into service. But one must understand the magnitude of the situation as about 300 villages are completely cut off," he said.

The chief minister said although every possible effort is being made to rescue people, bad weather and limited resources are major hindrance faced by the state administration. He said the state needs medicines, blankets, tents and clean water and once water recedes efforts have to be made to prevent outbreak of any epidemic.

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