The News Minute| September 6, 2014| 8.40 pm IST
Nature's fury has unleashed itself in Jammu. With floods triggered by incessant downpour for the last five days showing no signs of abating, the death toll is steadily on the rise. The toll has risen to 160 following the death of 14 people in a landslide. The Met office says the "worst is over".
This is the worst flood the state has seen in 60 years, affected a staggering 2,500 villages, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday as he assured help to deal with the grim situation. Rajnath Singh told the media at the Jammu airport that "160 people have lost their lives in these floods". "Floods of this magnitude have hit Jammu and Kashmir after 60 years."
The union minister arrived in the state earlier in the day on a day's visit to take stock of the flood situation.
Fourteen people died on Friday in Thanamandi area of Rajouri district when a landslide buried them, While 14 bodies have been recovered, many more are feared trapped, officials said.
More than 2,000 marooned people have been rescued by the security forces in the past five days. The weather office forecast more rainfall across Jammu and Kashmir Saturday, but it also said the the overall weather condition will improve from Sunday.
"From tomorrow (Sunday) onwards, Jammu and Kashmir will have clear weather for the next one week. As the system has already started weakening, we can safely say the worst is over," Sonam Lotus, director of the Met Office, told IANS.
Security forces and the state police have rescued more than 2,000 people marooned in flood ravaged areas of Jammu, Kathua, Rajouri, Poonch, Reasi, Ramban, Samba, Doda and Kishtwar districts Friday.
Jammu in floods..!! God be kind I beg you..!!pic.twitter.com/zA6KVswgprâ€” Rahul Pandit (@Pandit_Shiva) September 5, 2014
Both the Chenab river and the Tawi river in Jammu region were flowing above the danger mark Saturday morning.
For the first time in the history of the state, the three bridges on Tawi river were closed for traffic after they were declared unsafe for travel, officials said.
Authorities rescued five people trapped in flood waters in Sidhra area of Jammu city Saturday morning. Traffic on the Akhnoor bridge in Jammu district was also stopped Friday after the bridge was declared unsafe because of the roaring river over which it has been built.
The Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra remained suspended for the third day Saturday. M.K. Bhandari, CEO of the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, told reporters that more than 25,000 pilgrims are camped in Katra town of Reasi district as landslides have blocked the mountain trek to the shrine.
The strategic Jammu-Srinagar national highway remained closed for the third consecutive day Saturday. Authorities have now confirmed that 60 members of a marriage party were killed in Rajouri district Thursday when flash floods washed away their bus near Lam, 17 km from Noushera town.
Officials said 46 people have died due to landslides and flash floods in Poonch, Reasi, Rajouri, Doda and Udhampur districts of Jammu region during the last five days.
Also, roads from Jammu to Poonch, Doda and Kishtwar have been closed for the last three days snapping inter district road connectivity in the region. Reports said electricity supply to Poonch, Rajouri, Doda, Kishtwar, Reasi, Ramban, Samba, Kathua and Udhampur districts has been badly affected during the last four days.