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Heavy and incessant rain starting from 2 September 2014, triggered floods and landslides in Jammu and Kashmir region of India and in Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir, and Punjab area of Pakistan. Coming at a time when India was experiencing the last stage of monsoon, the torrential rain raised the water level of the Jhelum River in Srinagar way above the danger line. Hundreds of villages in Pakistan were ravaged when the water level of the Chenab River too went above the danger mark.

In the central area of Punjab in Pakistan, districts like Sialkot, Gujarat, Narowal, Qadirabad, Bahauddin, Hafizabad, Gujranwala, and Sheikhupura were disrupted. Rain and flood created major havoc in around 390 villages in Kashmir completely submerging most of the areas under water. Anantnag, Pulwama, and Awantipora were immensely affected. It devastated 1,000 villages in the Jammu area/division while the numbers of partially affected villages stood at 1,225. The overflowing of the Jhelum river led to the submerging of areas like Jawahar Nagar, Wazir Bagh, Sonwar, Gogji Bagh, etc. Dozens of bridges and buildings collapsed, roads and crops were damaged, homes were uprooted, and families were rendered homeless.

As a part of the rescue operations, Anil Goswami, Home Secretary of India, claimed that 329 columns of Indian Army, along with 82 helicopters and aircraft, etc. were dispatched. The National Disaster Response Force and Border Security Force saved above 200,000 people from various areas of Jammu and Kashmir. Attempts to restore mobile services were launched. The flood killed about 277 people in India and 280 people in Pakistan.

According to reports, the Indian Meteorological Department had hinted at a possibility of heavy rain and floods which went unheeded. Such warnings are usually ignored as the government fails to comprehend the enormity of such a natural calamity.

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References:

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