Floods cut off Kashmir, disrupt all communication channels

Kashmir floods
Srinagar city submerged under water. Photograph by Ahmer Khan

Almost all communication channels with Kashmir valley have got disrupted due to the major floods and the valley for now stays cut-off from rest of the world. Around 175 people have died so far, and the rescue operations launched by the government remained heavily disrupted and haven’t yet reached to most of the affected areas, including Srinagar.

Only the Aircel cellular network is working partially. Our reporter, Shahid Tantray, confirmed from Srinagar, that only Aircel network is functioning but without internet services. “All the cellphone networks are defunct. We can’t call anyone. Even the BSNL Landline and internet are not working as the flood water had gone into the two headquarters of the telecom company earlier,” he said, while speaking from an Aircel number.

Thousands of people are still trapped in their houses, mostly in second or third level as the flood water has been rising in several parts since last evening. The summer capital, Srinagar, started submerging into water from mid-night when the embankments around Jehlum river found way for water at various places.

“Only BSNL connections were operating till this evening. Every other network was down since morning. We are facing lot of problems to continue the rescue operations…No medium of communication is available except Aircel, every other network is down for internet connections too,” said Shariq Mir, from Srinagar.

Access to main hospitals like SMHS and Lalla Ded has been cut off due to the flooding of the roads. The helpline number provided by the government are also disrupted. “We are not able to get information from areas which have been cut off by flood water. Exact extent of deaths and destruction over the past 24 hours is not known,” an official in the Police Control Room was quoted by PTI.

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