Heavy rains wreak havoc across Jammu; 8 dead

• 4 children among 5 buried alive; 3 washed away in Bani • Jammu-Pathankot highway closed after Tarnah bridge pillar develops crack; traffic diverted via border roads in Kathua • Around 20 houses; footbridge damaged in Udhampur • New track to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine closed; chopper service suspended • Chenab in Akhnoor; Tawi in Jammu, Udhampur cross alert level; water level recedes by evening
As the water level had crossed the alert level in Chenab, the authorities alerted the people in low lying areas.
As the water level had crossed the alert level in Chenab, the authorities alerted the people in low lying areas. Mir Imran for Greater Kashmir

Jammu: Five members of two families were buried alive under the debris of two mud-brick houses at Bani while three others washed away in landslide incidents at separate places across Bani sub division of Kathua district on Wednesday, following overnight heavy rains.

Abdul Qayum lost his 12-year old son and 11-year old daughter whereas Mushtaq Ahmed lost his wife and two sons.

According to officials, two houses collapsed when a landslide hit them following heavy overnight downpour at Panchayat Surjan in ward number 3 of Bani.

“With the collapse of two mud-bricks houses, five people of two families buried alive underneath the debris of their houses. Immediately, we launched an operation with the help of locals, police, army, paramilitary forces, and SDRF,” said an official.

As the rainfall continued, the official said, the rescue teams recovered bodies one by one from the debris in the remote village, after hectic efforts.

The official said that Mohammed Asif (12) and his sister namely Nazia Bano (11), both children of Abdul Qayum, resident of Surjan were buried under the collapsed house and their bodies were retrieved by the rescue teams.

Similarly, the rescue teams recovered the body of Zareena Begam (45), wife of Mushtaq Ahmed, and their minor son Arbaz (3) from the debris. However, the official claimed that the body of Shahbaz (14), another son of Mushtaq Ahmed, was recovered late in the evening.

Meanwhile, the official said that Sham Lal (45), son of Tara Chand, resident of Bhullari; Naseema Begam (50), wife of Mohammed Rafiq, resident of Madhota and Ajay Singh (13), son of Mohinder Singh, resident of Sitti washed away in the landslides triggered by heavy rains in their respective villages in Bani.

Their bodies were recovered by the rescue teams, the official said, while informing that the rescue operation took long because the machines could not reach there.

“One mud-house collapsed at Drabshalla in the hilly district Kishtwar, following heavy downpour. There was no loss of life or damage to any other property in the district,” an official told Greater Kashmir.


The Jammu-Pathankot highway was also closed for vehicular traffic following damage to one of the pillars of a bridge over Tarnah nallah. This prompted authorities to divert the highway traffic through roads of border villages as an alternative route i.e., from Chadwal and Londi Morh in Kathua district.

The official sources in Kathua claimed that Sahar Khad bridge also needed urgent attention of the authorities concerned for repair work of its pillars.

A government structure was also damaged along the bank of flooded Ujh river in Kathua.


In Udhampur district, at least seventeen mud-houses; two pacca houses; four cattle sheds were damaged and a foot bridge washed away, besides incidents of land erosion at four places in Panchari and Majalta.

“13 mud-brick houses were damaged due to rains and landslides in Udhampur. Four houses were partially damaged and two cattle sheds were fully damaged while a footbridge also washed away in the district,” officials said.

In Basantgarh, the officials said, two concrete (pacca) houses and four mud houses in Latti were partially damaged. Meanwhile, seven mud houses developed cracks in Majalta.

Besides, a local in Parli Dhar area of Ramnagar tehsil, Mannu Verma told Greater Kashmir that a footbridge over a flooded nallah near Talhani washed away. This foot bridge, he claimed, was constructed with the help of locals, five to six years back. “It has disconnected a population of over 35000 spread in many villages as they were connected through this foot bridge that washed away,” he said. 


The officials also said that the new track to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra was closed due to heavy rains whereas the chopper and battery car services were also suspended due to inclement weather conditions. Meanwhile, two religious places were also damaged due to heavy rains that triggered landslides in Katra and caused water logging.


Officials said that Chenab river in Akhnoor and Tawi river in Jammu and Udhampur crossed alert level today.

“Chenab river had crossed alert level and accordingly, the Flood Control Department, SDRF and J&K Police teams alerted the people in Akhnoor’s low lying areas asking them not to go close to the river as it was flooded,” officials said.

“The water level in Chenab river was 32 ft and 7 inches at 6 pm. The water level had crossed the alert level,” the official said. However, the danger mark for the said river is 35 ft and 42 ft is evacuation level.

As the water level had crossed the alert level in Chenab, the authorities alerted the people in low lying areas. The official said, “However, the water level receded in Chenab river by evening as it was 30 ft and 6 inches when it was checked at 8 pm.”

Similarly, the Tawi river had also crossed alert level at 10 am. “The water level was increasing during morning hours, it crossed 15 ft in Tawi,” the official said. The alert level of Tawi is 14 ft. However, the water level receded by 8 pm. “It was 7 ft when checked at 8 pm this evening,” the official added.

The Tawi river in Udhampur had also crossed alert level during early morning hours.

“The water level had increased up to 4.30 meters in Tawi river in Udhampur and it was at alert level,” the official informed. The water level also receded in Tawi river in Udhampur by 8 pm.

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