Floods threaten Kashmir Valley after incessant rains

Posted by on May 6th, 2010 and filed under Crime/Disaster/Accident, Environment/ Wildlife. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Srinagar, May 6 (IANS) Low lying areas in the Kashmir Valley faced the prospect of floods Thursday with water levels in all major rivers and streams rising alarmingly following two days of incessant rain.

Jhelum, the biggest river in the valley, and its tributaries like the Sindh, Lidder, Ferozepur, Ramiyar and Pohru were brimming over due to heavy rains in the mountains and cloudbursts at many places.

A western disturbance had led to heavy to moderate rain at most places in Kashmir. The forecast for the next 24 hours is isolated rain and thunderstorms at some places here, said an official of the weather department here.

With an inadequate and outdated drainage system, many localities like Bemina, Mehjoor Nagar, Indira Nagar and some residential areas in this summer capital faced water logging problems.

Thunderstorms and cloudbursts have already washed away two bridges. The Bailey bridge connecting Sopore town with Bandipora district in the north was washed away by flash floods, and so was the Ramiyari Bridge which connects the two south Kashmir districts of Pulwana and Shopian.

At Kanzar in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, the water level in the local stream crossed the danger mark Wednesday, washing away the scaffolding of the bridge under construction.

‘Two days of rains would never cause any floods in the valley a few years back. The fact is that massive deforestation in the mountains has destroyed the water retention capacity of our mountains. Mudslides are triggered each time these mountains receive rains now,’ said Master Habibullah, 67, a resident of Ganderbal district.

Officials, however, tried to brush away the threats.

‘There is no imminent threat of a major flood anywhere in the valley though we have already alerted all our field staff to closely monitor the discharge of water in the local rivers and streams,’ said a senior official of the flood control department here.

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