Kashmir’s worst flood in living memory wreaks havoc

Kashmir flood
Photograph by Mohammad Masroor

Srinagar: Unprecedented floods caused by uninterrupted heavy downpour for the past five days have wreaked havoc in Kashmir Valley, even as flood waters entered many more residential areas here Sunday.

The floods, which hit the Valley Tuesday, breached a Jhelum River embankment here Saturday night, submerging Shivpora, Indira Nagar, Kursoo Rajbagh, Jawahar Nagar, Gogjibagh, Hari Singh High Street, Batmaloo and other civil lines areas.

Situation in south Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Kulgam and Pulwama has assumed the proportions of an unparalleled natural calamity as residents in these districts have never experienced in their living memory.

Thousands of people in more than 700 villages have abandoned their homes and livestock and shifted to higher reaches to escape the fury of rising waters.

At least 25 people have been killed in floods in the Valley while hundreds of cattle heads had been drowned in swollen rivers and over flowing seasonal streams.

Paddy crop over thousands of acres of cultivable land has been damaged, threatening an impending famine in these areas even after the flood waters recede. Damage to public and private property according to the officials has been set instead at billions of rupees.

Srinagar-Jammu and Srinagar-Leh national highways have remained closed. Authorities have cancelled all Hajj flights from Srinagar International Airport to Saudi Arabia till Sep 12. Sonam Lotus, director of the local Met department said there would be fair weather in the Valley during the next five days.

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