People of three tehsils of Poonch district – Mendhar, Surankote and Poonch, are affected by a flash flood, biggest since 1959, an official spokesman said. They had a huge sigh of relief as three days of incessant rain stopped in the afternoon with water level in the Poonch river lowering significantly.
All the affected people, especially those whose houses have been damaged or washed away, have been moved to safer shelters established by the district administration at Gujjar & Bakarwal Hostel and Eidgah Poonch having capacity of more than 500 people.
Madarsa Zia-Ul-Uloom and Dashnami Akhara have also provided shelter to hundreds of people.
Approach road to the Sher-e-Kashmir Bridge has been damaged and several buildings both government and private have been washed away. Several other bridges in the district have also been washed away which has led to many areas being cut off.
Bridge over Darungli nallah has also collapsed. There has been a massive loss to property worth crores while nineteen lives have been lost. Five lives have been lost at Hill Kaka, 01 at Gundi, 09 at Khet/Sawjian, 04 at Gagrian while 150 people are still marooned at Potha-Sanai Bela and 90, 02, 05 and 06 at Khanetar, Bhainchh, Dingla Bowali and Jhulas respectively where rescue efforts are on.
Four persons are reported missing while as five persons have been injured at different places. District Administration has been able to rescue 26 persons from Draba, Chambber, Azad Mohalla Khalsa Chowk, Dungas, Dinglaw Bowala, Baila Surankote and Degwar Malti.
Village Kalas and Degwar Terwan are still under threat and population there has been shifted out.
District Development Commissioner, Poonch, M H Malik has assured the restoration of electricity supply and road connectivity at the earliest and efforts for the same are already on war footing. Before supply of electricity is restored, drinking water will be provided by using Gen Sets. He has also said that administration is geared up to meet all the post flood challenges.