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Flood alert in central Kashmir, 3 rain-related deaths in Jammu region


Press Trust of India Srinagar/Jammu
Authorities today sounded a flood alert in central Kashmir even as three deaths were reported in rain-related mishaps in the Jammu region of the state.
Srinagar-bound traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar high was suspended due to the lurking threat of floods in the Valley, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded, officials said.
The Amarnath Yatra was halted again as both Pahalgam and Baltal routes were slippery because of the rain, a spokesperson of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board said.
But the weather showed improvement later in the day in both regions of Jammu and Kashmir.
Intermittent rains since last night led to the flood alert in central Kashmir, but water levels had already started receding in the southern part of the Valley.
The authorities had yesterday issued a flood alert in south Kashmir. Today, they put out an alert for low-lying areas in central Kashmir, including the summer capital Srinagar, and asked people to remain prepared for evacuation.
Schools across the Valley were closed today.
In the Jammu region, three persons were killed and nearly a dozen houses damaged in rain-related mishaps since yesterday, officials said.
Harbans Lal (45) was washed away by a flash flood in a stream near his house in Natulphal village in Akhnoor sector this afternoon. A 22-year-old man, Anzar Ahmad, died in a similar case in the Surankote area of Poonch district yesterday.
A woman, Jameela, was killed when a tree fell on her shelter in Kishtwar district.
On the Sringar-Jammu highway, Srinagar-bound vehicles were stopped at various places between Ramban and Banihal around 2 pm as a precautionary measure, officials said.
The local administration was making arrangements to lodge passengers for the night at government buildings, including schools.
The Jammu-bound traffic was, however, allowed to proceed.
A fleet of vehicles, carrying over 2,000 Amarnath pilgrims, had also crossed the Jawahar tunnel around noon and reached the Pahalgam base camp, they said.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra reviewed the situation arising out of the increasing water levels of Jhelum and Tawi rivers, and other major streams, at a meeting this morning, a Raj Bhavan spokesperson said.
He directed the administration to keep all the agencies concerned at a high level of preparedness to deal with any exigency.
Kashmir has experienced rainfall over the past three days and yesterday the downpour intensified in many parts, including Srinagar.
The rising water levels triggered fears of a rerun in the Valley of the 2014 floods that caused widespread devastation and left over 300 people dead.

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First Published: Jun 30 2018 | 8:35 PM IST

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