Updated 31 March:
The situation in flood-hit Jammu & Kashmir, where 17 people have so far lost their lives, has now improved as the rain abated in the last 24 hours. The water level in river Jhelum has dropped below the danger mark giving relief to the areas majorly hit by heavy downpour that began on Friday.
However, the nightmare is far from over as the MeT department has predicted heavy to very heavy rains from 1 April to 3 April. They said that though the condition will improve on Tuesday, it will worsen again when the rain resumes on Wednesday.
"There will be some relief on Tuesday as rainfall is not expected, but the weather conditions will deteriorate again from 1 April with a fresh spell of heavy rainfall. These spells of heavy rainfall are being caused by a chain of western disturbances," Livemint quoted BP Yadav, senior scientists and head of the National Weather Forecasting Centre at the India Meteorological Department, as saying.
After battling massive floods last September, Jammu & Kashmir once again finds itself submerged as heavy rainfall lashed several parts of the state causing deaths and destruction. To make matters worse, the water level in river Jhelum has crossed the danger mark in Srinagar and Sangam region.
Eight dead bodies were recovered from Budgam district even as the state government has intensified the rescue operation in the flood-hit regions of Jammu & Kashmir. Over 21 people are still missing and the state authorities have very little hopes of finding them alive, according to an ANI report.
Two houses at Chadoora area in Kashmir's Budgam district have sunk into the ground and 16 people are feared trapped inside them, Hindustan Times reported.
Following the heavy rainfall on Friday that continued till Sunday, the water level in Jhelum at 6am crossed the danger level of 21 feet at Sangam and reached the 22.4-ft mark. In Ram Munshi Bagh, the water level has reached 18.8 ft against the danger mark of 18 ft, a senior official said, according to PTI.
The state administration has evacuated people living on the banks of river Jhelum and in the view of the increasing water level, residents of low-lying areas have been asked to move to safer places.
Though the rain has subsided since Monday morning, an alert has been sounded as in the eventuality of water level crossing the 23-ft mark, massive rescue and evacuation operation will be required, a government spokesperson said.
Two teams of at least 100 personnel, 50 each, of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Srinagar. Flood relief camps are also being set up in the affected areas.
"The administration is on full alert following heavy rains in the Valley and the situation is being monitored continuously," deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh told the J&K Assembly. Chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed visited Srinagar on Sunday and will again pay a visit to the affected regions to monitor the situation.
The rainfall had earlier caused massive damage in parts of the state. At least 44 structures, including 26 residential buildings, were destroyed. The heavy unseasonal downpour has worst affected the farmers, who have suffered immense loss of winter crops.
Last September, more than 200 people were killed and over 300 villages were submerged in flood water while several thousands were affected.