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Flood alert issued in J&K, highway closed
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September 02, 2006 22:49 IST

Authorities on Saturday geared up flood emergency services in Jammu and Kashmir [Images] with Jhelum and Chenab rivers in spate following incessant rains that have cut off the Valley from the rest of the country for the past two days.

The water level of the Jhelum, 40 km upstream from Srinagar [Images], at Sangam in Anantnag district was over 7 ft above the danger mark at 28.05 ft, a flood control department spokesman said.

He said the Jhelum was one ft beyond the red mark at 19.0 ft in Ram Munshi Bagh in Srinagar while further downstream at Asham in Baramulla district it was flowing at 11.70 ft, short of the 14 ft level. There were no reports of any breach but the water level of Jhelum and its tributaries was rising alarmingly in the Valley submerging areas like Charsoo in Anantnag.

Srinagar-Jammu and Srinagar-Leh National Highways were closed for a second day due to landslides between Ramban and Ramsu, leaving 2,000 passengers stranded. The heavy rainfall was, however, hampering road clearance efforts of the Border Roads Organisation.

The government had taken steps to meet any eventuality and had asked the Army, fire and emergency services to supplement flood-control measures, the spokesman said.

Irrigation and Flood Control Minister Mohammed Dilawar Mir convened a review meeting and asked officials to gear up to evacuate people from water-logged areas and to press mobile de-watering pumps into service in case of a flood emergency.

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