Press Trust of India

Kashmir heaves sigh of relief as water level recedes in Jhelum

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Srinagar: People living in the low-lying areas of Kashmir, including Srinagar city, heaved a sigh of relief on Sunday as a flood threat eased due to a dip in the water level in the Jhelum river following improvement in weather conditions, officials said here.

“The weather is improving and the water level will drop, but those living in low-lying areas should take precautionary measures at least for Sunday. Rains are expected in south Kashmir over the next 24 hours but not of the same intensity as on Saturday. The danger of flood is also receding,” Farooq Ahmad Bhat, a meteorologist associated with the India Meteorological Department (IMD), told PTI.

The Jhelum was flowing above the danger mark at Sangam in Anantnag district and Ram Munshi Bagh in Srinagar since Saturday evening, bringing back the nightmares of 2014 when massive floods inundated vast areas of the Kashmir valley.

“Like our prediction, heavy rainfall and snowfall in the upper reaches have taken place. The level of water in the Jhelum has increased due to moderate rains in south Kashmir. The good thing is that the rainfall has been less in north Kashmir, allowing a good flow of water. The water is flowing at the danger mark in south Kashmir but there is no need to worry. We expect the water level to come back to normal by the evening,” Bhat said.

As the skies cleared up to give way to sunshine, the locals are hopeful that they have already seen the worst for now.

“It has been raining for the last two days and the water level is rising. We saw a similar phenomenon during the 2014 floods. Thankfully, the rains have stopped since Saturday but if there are more rains, then there is danger. We are cautious and apprehensive about the rising level as the water is above normal,” Mohammad Athar, a city resident, said.

Omar, who lives on the banks of the Jhelum here, said, “The water level has increased due to rainfall over the last two days. If the water level rises further, entire Kashmir is in danger of floods.”

Idris Khan said he has moved his belongings to the first floor of his house due to the rising water level in the river.

“We have moved our belongings from the ground floor as the Jhelum is flowing close to the danger mark and the water can overflow,” Khan said.

Flash floods have been reported from many areas in south Kashmir, including Kulgam district, but there are no reports of any major damage.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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