Govt orders flood alert in Kashmir

As the water level in all the major rivers and streams of the Kashmir Valley continued to rise after incessant rain in the last four days, the authorities Monday sounded a flood alarm and set up flood control rooms at all district headquarters.

“The flood alarm was sounded in Srinagar city as the water gauge at the Ram Munshi Bagh crossed 16 feet. People living in temporary sheds along River Jhelum have been asked to shift to safer locations,” a statement issued by the provincial headquarters said here this morning.

So far, two persons have been killed in flash floods in north and south Kashmir areas, where most rivers and streams have swollen after incessant rain for four days.

Local farmers have borne the brunt of the rain, as their paddy fields have been submerged at a time when the crop was ripe for harvest.

Paddy is a major produce of Kashmir.

“We do not need rain for the paddy crop at this stage. There were deficient rains in May, June and July, when rains were required. Laden with grain, the paddy plants have already started bending to the ground because of the downpour. I am really worried that my labour of an entire year will get washed out,” said Gulam Muhammad Rather, 42, a local farmer.

The weather office, which had issued a warning of heavy rain at many places in the last 48 hours, has said that the weather is set to improve by Monday afternoon.

“We are expecting an overall improvement in the weather from today (Monday) afternoon. Although the sky would remain cloudy, there will be decrease in precipitation from afternoon onwards,” Sonam Lotus, director of the local met office, told IANS. (IANS)

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