Torrential rains wreak havoc across J&K

Two women and a man were killed in Bandipora and Ganderbal districts as torrential rains and windstorms wreaked havoc across Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

Bandipora

Two women were killed in Chandaji village of Bandipora district in north Kashmir after a tree fell on them following a windstorm in the area last night.

An official identified the deceased as Mubeena Bano, 18, daughter of Zakir Hussain Khan and Shareefa Begum, 33, wife of Arif Hussain Khan. Both residents of Chandaji.

He said that they had gone to Babrie Walla Uraniya Behak to graze their cattle last evening when strong winds uprooted a tree which fell on them, resulting in their on-spot death.

Former Legislator Nizamuddin Bhat expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of lives in Chandaji village.

He exuded hope that DDC Bandipora would provide all possible help and relief to victim families.

Meanwhile, four persons were injured after a cloudburst hit Naidkhai village—Poshwari— this afternoon, an official said.

 He identified the injured persons as Irfan Ahmad Wani, 26, son of Abdul Rashid Wani, Javid Ahmad Wani, 28, son of Abdul Rashid Wani, Masrat Begum, 45, wife of Abdul Rashid Wani and Tahira Begum, 32, wife of Manzoor Ahmad Wani – all residents of Poshwari Naidkhai.

Damaged footbridge due to flash floods in Bandipora.

A bridge was also washed away by flash floods in Arin village of Bandipora district in the morning after flash floods hit Arin Nallah.

Another official said that several areas, including Lawdara, Kulhama, Lankrishipora and Kunzpora, were also inundated after incessant rains triggered flash floods in Arin Nallah. “The nallah which flows through these villages damaged the agricultural crop and water has also entered several residential areas there,” he added.

Meanwhile, residents of Kaloosa village blocked Bandipora-Sopore road to protest against the authorities after water inundated several residential houses in the locality. They said that water seeped through the bund constructed alongside Nallah Madhumati.

Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Shahbaz Mirza visited flood-prone areas and directed officers of Revenue and Irrigation and Flood Control to be present on the spot.

An official spokesman said that several transmission lines were also damaged due to heavy rains and winds. He also said that 25 kanal of paddy land got submerged in Lawdara village after flash floods hit the village and 30 residential houses and 13 cowsheds were also submerged. “As many as 29 sheds, 25 cow sheds, 10 residential houses, 3 boats, and 3 shops were also submerged in Kulhama village. Teams have already been deputed to these villages to assess further damage and residents have been asked to take precautionary measures to avoid any untoward incident,” he said.

 Meanwhile, Gurez valley received fresh snowfall on Wednesday morning. An official said that fresh snowfall was recorded in Dawar, Tulial, Bagtore and Razdan Pass.

Man dies in Kangan, Sonamarg receives fresh snowfall  

A 40-year-old man was killed and two others injured after a tree uprooted by strong winds fell on their tent in a forest area of Ramwari village of Gund tehsil in Ganderbal district on Wednesday.

The Station House Officer police station Gund, Tariq Yusuf, identified deceased as Muhammad Yusuf Kalada, 40, son of Abdul Gani Kalada, of Rajouri.  ” Kalada died on the spot while two of his relatives, Ghulam Haider, 33, son of Dawood and Abdul Latif, 31, son of Mehmood, both residents of Rajouri were injured.”

An official said that Sonamarg, Naranag, Baltal and Zojila Pass witnessed fresh snowfall on Wednesday.

Superintendent of Police, Traffic (Rural), Muzafar Ahmed Shah told Greater Kashmir that the traffic on Srinagar-Leh highway was stopped from both sides due to snowfall and rolling stones.

A Beacon official said that they have pressed men and machinery to clear the road.

The SHO police station Sonamarg, Lateef Ali, said that the decision to allow traffic movement will be taken later in evening.

Meanwhile, a bridge on nallah Sindh connecting Tangchahter and its adjoining areas with Kangan was washed away by flash floods.

Many areas of Ganderbal district were waterlogged and inundated due to incessant rains.

Many farmers, who spoke to Greater Kashmir, complained that their crop including paddy saplings and orchards were damaged due to the heavy rains and gusty storms.

5 houses,  2 shops damaged in Baramulla 

At least five residential houses and two shops were damaged due to torrential rains that caused breach in Ferozpora stream at various places in north Kashmir’s  Baramulla district on Wednesday. The worst affected villages fall in Pattan, include Hanjiveera, Khore Sherabad and Mattipora Singhpora. The torrential rains also washed away a bridge at Shraai in Tangmarg. The bridge used to connect around 25 villages with the main road.

The heavy rains and high speed winds damaged three residential houses at Bela Slamabad Boniyar. The inmates of the house as per police did not receive any injury in the incident.

The Ferozpora Nallah which passes through various areas of Pattan village, developed breach at Kripalpora Payeen and Mattipora. The water entered several hamlets and inundated most of these villages.  Besides, hundreds of kanals of land which include paddy as well as orchards had been damaged by the flash floods.

The worst affected villages were the Khore Sherabad, Hanjiveera Bala and Payeen, Mamoosa, Trikolbal, lolipora, Goshbugh and villages close to Sonawari.

The traffic movement on Srinagar-Baramulla highway remained affected throughout the day as villages along the highway at Hanjiveera and Singhpora Pattan remained submerged in  water throughout the day.  “We have started rescue operation in the area. We have plugged the breaches that had emerged at various places on the Ferozpora stream. We have provided around 3000 sand bags to the affected people besides have pressed trucks, JCB and tipper in to service” said Sallahudin, Tehsildar Pattan.

Panic gripped Tangmarg area after flash floods damaged Shraai bridge. The embankments of the bridge were washed away. This led to more than 25 villages getting disconnected from the district headquarters.  “The bridge collapse has left scores of villages disconnected from the Tangmarg. We are at the spot to ensure people do not suffer,” said Dr Nasir Ahmad, Tehsildar Tangmarg.

The flash floods in various areas of Baramulla district caused huge damage to crops and orchards.

The flash floods also caused land slipping in various villages of Tangmarg. The affected villages include Ferozpora, Treran, Chak Treran Tambarhama, Changal, Kulhama and other adjoining areas.

Besides flash floods, various parts of Baramulla district witnessed hailstorm on Wednesday which caused huge loss to the farmers. The affected villages, include Kralgund, Sangrama, Kreeri, Rafiabad and various villages of Kandi Baramulla.

According to locals, the hail storm which lasted for more than 15 minutes caused havoc in the area and inflicted huge loss to orchards and the paddy field. Locals said the loss is in crores as more than fifty percent apple crop was destroyed in the hail storm.

DC Baramulla visits flood prone areas 

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Dr G N Itoo conducted an extensive tour of the flood-prone areas of the district to take stock of the flood-like situation caused by incessant rains, an official spokesman said.

 The DC was accompanied by  SSP Baramulla Abdul Quyoom, Executive Engineer Flood Control, Tehsildars, Engineers and other concerned officers.

The team visited KP Payeen, Hanjiwara, Khoie, Tarzoo, Panzipora and other low lying villages located along Jhelum embankments to examine the situation and to get the first-hand appraisal of the same.

While inspecting flood-prone areas, the DC directed Irrigation and Flood Control authorities to expedite the strengthening work on embankments in these areas so that the situation will remain under control. He stressed upon the concerned departments to remain vigilant in case of any eventually. DC stressed upon the concerned officers to mobilise men and machinery and to keep them ready so that any kind of eventuality is tackled smoothly. He also called for close coordination between the departments to ensure timely rescue and rehabilitation as and when needed.

Submerged road in Baramulla district.

The DC appealed the people not to remain vigilant. He urged them to remain connected with the administration in case of any eventuality. He said that district administration has geared up all the agencies for the safeguard of precious human lives and property.

People were informed that district administration has established round the clock control room with helpline numbers 01952-234343, 7006493646. Moreover, another control room has been established by Police Control Room with helpline numbers 9596767768, 01952-237802.

Damaged Apple crop due to hailstorm in Kupwara district.

Hail storm damages apple orchards, other crops in  Kupwara

Hail storm wreaked havoc in several villages of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Tuesday evening and caused extensive damage to apple orchards, paddy saplings, vegetable fields and walnut trees.

The hailstorm hit the villages around 8:30 pm in the evening and lasted from more than half hour.

The hailstorm hit parts of Zarhama, Marhama, Awoora, Gujjar pati, Muqam, Reshwari, Manwan, Alachizab, Meelyal, Kachama, Lone Harie, Firkin and other adjoining areas.

A local apple grower of Meelyal told Greater Kashmir that we were expecting a good quantity of apple more than from the last two years as orchards seemed to be abundant in apples and also snowing took place at the right time, “I have never seen hail storm like this which took place for more than a half hour and more than three inch hails were accumulated, I have not slept whole night,” said Afaq Ahamd.

He said that early morning I went to my apple orchard and saw more than fifty percent damage to the apple, “Once anything sticks with the apple then it is of no use, this is the only thing which I have earned, I appeal to the authorities to compensate my loss,” he said.

The walnuts also suffered damage in upper areas of Kupwara. “I have purchased hundreds of tree of walnuts, but today when I went to see their situation, it left me in pain as they all are damaged and it will put me in big loss,” said a walnut business man Nazir Ahmad of Kupwara.

Hailstorm also hit Palpora area of Handwara on Wednesday afternoon causing  damage to the apple orchards, other crops, “The storm lasted for ten minutes at around 3:00 pm and caused damage to apple and walnut trees,” a local of Palpora told Greater Kashmir.

Chief Agriculture office Muzaffar Ahmad said that the hailstorm has caused damage, “I have sent a team to these villages to collect the report of loss and accordingly it will be submitted to district authorities for compensation,” he said.

Chief Horticulture officer Kupwara Zahoor Ahmad said that there is extensive damage to the apple and walnut trees, “I am visiting these areas personally and took the report of loss, but there is more than 50 percent damage to apple and 20 percent damage to walnut,” he said.

He said that it will take us a day to make the loss report and I will submit to the higher authorities for compensation.

15 minute hailstorm damages vegetable crop orchards in Bhadarwah

Hail storm which lasted  for just 15 minutes wreaked havoc in many villages including main town Bhadarwah, Bharoa, Chinchira, Jatani, Athkhar and other areas of Bhadarwah valley in Doda district.

Strong hailstrom caused huge damage to crops and vegetable in picturesque Bhadarwah Valley, which is second largest producer of fruits in the state after Kashmir, leaving farmers in distress over expected losses.

The orchardists in Bhadarwah told Greater Kashmir that “this year, we expected a good crop as our orchards seemed to be abundant in apples, pears and apricot but the hail storm dashed our hopes,” said, Sonica Raj, a fruit grower from village Jatani-Chinchora.

“It was heart wrenching to see the heavy damage caused by the massive hailstorm which started at 5.20 pm and in just 15 minutes, all our hopes got buried under white balls,” said leading orchadist of Chenab Valley, Sheikh Muhammad Shafi of Bharoa.

Pertinently, on June 3 heavy wind storm and hail storm had damaged corps in Basti Panchayat and it’s surroundings areas.

Admin orders closure of schools, sounds alert in Doda

 In the wake of the MeT  department issuing an avalanche warning and heavy rainfall, the district administration Doda on Wednesday ordered closure of all the schools and sounded an alert in the district.

Chief Education Officer Tariq Hussain Khoja Doda said, “The MeT department has predicted heavy rainfall and also issued avalanche warning in the district on Wednesday. As per the directions of the DDC, holiday has been declared in schools so that children don’t face inconvenience.”

A man struggles to cross a gushing stream amid heavy rainfall in Doda district.

“As a precautionary move and due to heavy rainfall since past 48 hours and avalanche warning by the meteorological department we have been forced to declare high alert in areas close to river Chenab and it’s tributaries and also people living on slopes and slide prone areas of Doda district,” the DDC Doda said.

2 women injured in Poonch

Windstorm and heavy rainfall threw normal life out of gear in Rajouri and Poonch districts. Over five dozen structures were damaged due to rains and strong winds. Two women also sustained injuries after lightning struck them.  

Muhammad Ashaq of Arai Malikan village of Poonch Mandi told Greater Kashmir that lightning struck their house leaving his wife Shakeela Begum and daughter Nazia Kouser injured.

Meanwhile, Tehsildar Mandi Javed Iqbal said that windstorm caused huge loss of property across the tehsil.

House of one Muhammad Bashir son of Muhammad Din of Panjgrian in Manjakote tehsil of Rajouri was  damaged in the storm. (Reporting by Ejaz-ul-Haq Bhat, Irfan Raina, Altaf Baba, Ghulam Muhammad, Muzamil Shah, Tahir Nadeem Khan and Ishrat Butt.”

Omar grieved over loss of lives

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah  on Wednesday expressed grief over the loss of lives in the Valley due to the inclement weather condition. He urged the Governor’s  administration to make up to the losses suffered by people on priority basis.

Omar in a statement said, “the recent calamitous weather condition has led to both material and non-material losses to the people across Kashmir. It is the duty of the Governor administration to provide succor to the families who stand affected by the vagaries of weather. There have been reports of massive losses to households, orchids, paddy lands across Kashmir including Beerwah. I urge the administration to come up with a contingency plan to mitigate the problems people across Kashmir are facing in the wake of incessant rains and hail storm. The administration should gear up its ground staff to ensure that all basic services including electricity are restored. I urge the administration to recompense the losses to people as soon as possible.” 

PDP asks Govt to provide immediate relief to affected families

Former Minister and senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Naeem Akhtar also expressed grief over the tragic loss of lives in Chandaji village of Bandipora and Ramwari Gund area of Ganderbal due to windstorm.

Akhtar expressed grief and shock over the tragic accidents and appealed the Governor’s administration to provide full support to families of the victims.

The PDP leader prayed for peace of the departed souls and wished the bereaved families the strength to bear this sad loss.

Reporting by Ejaz-ul-Haq Bhat, Irfan Raina, Altaf Baba, Ghulam Muhammad, Muzamil Shah, Tahir Nadeem Khan and Ishrat Butt.