Flood threat after cloudburst in Kashmir Valley
A cloudburst in the mountains here Saturday led to the water rising in the Sindh stream, threatening hundreds of low-lying villages in Kashmir's Ganderbal district. However, the weather office said the "worst is over".
The district administration assisted by the army evacuated hundreds of people from the area after the cloudburst in the Sonamarg mountains.
"Since today (Saturday) morning, the water level in the Sindh Nallah has risen by over six feet. We are now dealing with an emergency situation," an official told IANS.
"The Wayil bridge on Sindh Nallah has been closed to traffic," the official said.
Reports said flood waters had already entered some villages in the district because of the swollen Sindh stream.
Thousands of people in hundreds of villages, especially in the south Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama, have abandoned their homes and livestock to move to safer places.
Many areas here have also been inundated by flood waters due to the unprecedented rainfall during the last five days.
Officials say this is the worst flood Kashmir has seen during the last 50 years. So far, 20 people have been killed in the Valley.
The Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for the fourth day Saturday.
All inter-districts road connectivity has been snapped as the flood waters washed away bridges and breached roads in the Valley.
More than 500 drinking water schemes have been affected. Electricity supply to most areas remained suspended.
The Met Office has said there would be improvement in the weather from Saturday evening.
"The worst is over. There would be improvement in weather across Jammu and Kashmir from Saturday evening...," Sonam Lotus, director of the local Met Office, told IANS.