Flash flood threat averted in Kashmir

Srinagar : An impending flash flood threat due to a glacial lake formation has been averted in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir, the authorities said Sunday.

“Water has started flowing normally through the avalanche in Sonamarg area of Ganderbal and the impending flash flood threat in the area has been averted,” Amir Ali, officer on special duty at the provincial headquarters and in-charge of the disaster management cell, said .

“An aerial survey by the army has confirmed that the accumulated water in Sonamarg area consequent upon the occurrence of an avalanche has found its way through and is flowing normally Sunday,” said Ali. Ganderbal is in north Kashmir.

Ali also confirmed that the high alert issued Friday following the formation of a glacial lake in the Nelgrad area of Sonamarg tourist resort is being withdrawn.

“People living in the low lying areas of Ganderbal district close to the Sindh Nalla (stream) have nothing to fear now. The discharge of water has started normally in the Sindh Nalla,” he said.

“Today (Sunday) around a 200 cusec (cubic centimetres per second) discharge has been reported by the engineers at the Upper Sindh Hydel Projects stages one and two. This much discharge is normal around this time of the year in the stream,” said Ali.

The authorities had sought the help of the army for an aerial survey and subsequent controlled blasting of the avalanche in Sonamarg area, after the avalanche had blocked the flow of the Sindh stream resulting in the creation of a large glacial lake.

Although the district administration in Ganderbal had set up a round the clock control room to monitor the situation, and started massive relief and rescue operations in the wake of the possible glacial lake outburst flooding (GLOF), thousands of people living in areas close to the stream were in a state of panic.

“Now that nature has taken care of us, we have nothing to worry,” said a villager in the Gagangir area of the district, 10 km from the avalanche site.

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