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Saturday, May 29, 2010 (14:40:01)
Tags : Kashmir, Floods, Jhelum

Flood alert in Kashmir Valley

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Srinagar, May 29: Incessant rains in the Kashmir Valley have raised the water level in the Jhelum river to the danger mark, prompting the authorities to sound a flood alert. The met department, however, said the weather would improve from today.

"Srinagar recorded rainfall of 57 mm during the last 24 hours which is heavy by our standards although the previous record for 24 hours is 66 mm of rain in May 1987," A.R. Zargar, the duty officer at the local weather office told the media today afternoon.

"There was a long let up in the rainfall during the last 12 hours and this has resulted in downslide in the water level in different rivers and streams of the valley," he added.

"A western disturbance still persists over Jammu and Kashmir although it is weakening now. We expect the weather to continue improving from today (Saturday) onwards," he said.

"Isolated rain and thundershowers would occur at some places in the valley during the next 24 hours, but we are expecting a positive change by (Sunday) tomorrow when precipitation would stop," Zargar said.

Authorities have already sounded a flood alert as the water level in the Jhelum river touched the danger mark at Sangam in south Kashmir and at Ram Munshibagh in Srinagar city on Friday evening.

Flash floods have already inundated a number of villages in north Kashmir Baramulla and south Kashmir Anantnag districts.

The paddy nurseries have been flooded by the inundating waters and the local agriculture department has advised farmers to drain the paddy nurseries to protect the crop from further damage.

Water flowed over a Bailey bridge on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway near the Pattan town in north Kashmir Baramulla district Friday evening and several portions of the highway had also come under water in the district.

Mir Najeebullah, the chief engineer of the flood department told reporters a flood alert had been sounded across the valley and officials of the concerned departments had been monitoring the situation on an hourly basis.

"We are fully prepared to meet any eventuality. Eleven lakh sandbags are available with us to block any breaches in the river banks. We have also told the people living closer to major rivers and streams in the valley to take precautions," the chief engineer said. (IANS)