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Rising water levels in Jhelum brings back nightmares of 2014 flood in Kashmir

Heavy rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir has filled rivers and streams with water as authorities announced flood alert in the valley after the water level reached 19 feet mark in Ram Munshi Bagh area of the capital city.

Thoughts of the September 2014 floods in Jammu and Kashmir returned to haunt residents of Srinagar on Friday as a houseboat went underwater in the swelling Jhelum after incessant rain. By evening, residents of Srinagar’s thronged the bridge over the rive to gauge the water level. It was déjà vu for many as in 2014, an overflowing Jhelum had inundated the entire locality.

In the evening, the water level in the south of Kashmir was receding and was expected to bring respite. J&K governor N.N. Vohra chaired a high-level meeting where he directed the officials to stay vigilant and took stock of the availability of stock. Advisor to J&K Governor BB Vyas said that 3 deaths have been reported till now from the Jammu region. “In Srinagar, we have established 44 shelter sheds. Waterlogging is one of the toughest challenges,” Vyas said.

The 2014 floods were the worst to hit the state in 60 years. It damaged 2,61,361 structures, 3,27,000 hectares of agricultural land and 3,96,000 hectares of horticultural land. The housing sector suffered losses over Rs 300 billion, and the business sector lost around Rs 700 billion.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah told media that “relief camps are being established in District Srinagar, should there be a need for evacuation in view of the rising levels.”

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