Heavy rains in the last 2 days created a flood situation in the city of Srinagar. The Jhelum River has crossed its danger mark and, if the water rises more than one to two meters, it will flood the entire Laal Chowk. Authorities issued a flood alert in Srinagar, schools were closed and Amarnath Yatra has been suspended for the time being. Srinagar Leh Highway remained closed all day yesterday and was only reopened at night for a while. Yesterday there was a landslide on the Jammu – Srinagar road, leaving thousands of people stuck on the road. It would be unsafe to travel to Srinagar from now on; until the situation is back under control and the weather improves.

The Jhelum River also ran above the 9-meter critical mark in Sangam, in the Anantnag district in southern Kashmir, due to heavy rains in the past two days. The water level at Jhelum in Ram Munshi Bagh in the city was 13.34 feet at 6 pm; more than 4.5 feet below the level of the flood statement. He said that people who live in the areas along the embankments of the Jhelum River; other streams and in low areas have been advised to remain vigilant. In addition, a landslide blocked the Jammu-Srinagar national road late Friday afternoon; leaving hundreds of vehicles, including those transporting pilgrims from Amarnath, to base camps in the valley.

Flood alert in Srinagar

Heavy rains caused the landslide in Gangroo, near Ramsu, along the 260 km road; the only road to any climate that connects Kashmir to the rest of the country. Heavy rains in the Banihal-Udhampur sector have also caused landslides; and throwing rocks at four places in Panthal, Nedgard, Digdol and Samroli this morning; blocking the road, officials said. However, they said that the agencies involved were pressuring men and machines for service; and after restless efforts, the blockade was completed in the shortest time possible, around 9:15 am.

Massive traffic jam has been reported at several locations along the road throughout the day; causing difficulties for transit personnel; and police to manage traffic despite the rain, they said. Earlier in the day, Amarnath’s yatra for the cave sanctuary in southern Kashmir was also suspended from the Baltal route; due to several landslides caused by heavy rains in the valley in the past two days. A MET office official said Kokernag, southern Kashmir; in the Anantnag district, it received the largest rainfall of 63.4 mm until 8:30 am this morning; while neighboring Qazigund received 58.6 mm of rain.

Ceaseless Rain in Srinagar

Srinagar – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir – registered 12.6 mm of rain until 8:30 am; but the intensity increased after that; the official said. He said Pahalgam – one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra; which started yesterday – received 27.8 mm of rain. The rains led to an increase in the water level in the streams; and rivers through the valley, especially in southern Kashmir. The water level had been rising since the morning; because there was an increase of about one foot every hour since 9am. The rapid increase in water levels induced fear among residents of the valley of a repeat of the 2014 floods; which caused widespread devastation and left more than 300 people dead.