Several roads across the state were closed because of flooding and rockslides, California's transportation agency reported.
At least eight people, including women and children, were on Wednesday killed due to flash-floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains in the Bani tehsil of the Kathua district in the Jammu division.
Reports said several cattle heads have also perished in the natural disaster.
The vital Jammu-Pathankot and Jammu-Srinagar highways have been closed for vehicular traffic on account of the damage to a bridge and landslides.
Reports said that five persons, including children, were buried alive as two houses of Mushtaq Ahmad and Abdul Qayum were hit by landslides in the Surjan Block of Bani area in Kathua. Bodies of Abdul Qayum and Tabseem Bano have so far been retrieved by the locals who immediately swung into action for rescue operations. Police have also reached the spot.
Body of a woman, Naseema Begum, resident of Mandhota Tehsil of Bani, was found buried under a landslide, while that of a class-seven student, Ajay Singh, was recovered from a landslide in Sitti area of Bani. Sham Lal, a resident of Bhullari in Bani, was also buried under a landslide. His body is being searched from the debris.
Nine goats were buried under a shed hit by a landslide in the Sira area of Bani.
The Kathua district police have advised people to stay indoors because of apprehensions of flash-floods. While, army has been called in for rescue operations in the landslide hit areas of Bani.
The Chenab and Tawi rivers were flowing above the danger mark. Several other rainfed rivers have caused extensive damage in the Kathua and Samba districts.
The Jammu-Srinagar highway is shut due to landslides at the Cafeteria Morh, Mehar and T-2 tunnel. The vital Chadwal bridge on the Jammu-Pathankot highway, that links J&K with Punjab, has been damaged due to flash-flood. Some pillars of the bridge have tilted.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has expressed grief over the loss of lives in house collapse and landslides triggered by heavy rains in Bani area of Kathua district.
In a condolence message, the Lt Governor said: “I am deeply saddened to learn about the tragic incident triggered by heavy rains in Kathua, in which a number of persons have lost their lives and many others are feared trapped under the debris. Rescue and relief operations are currently underway. I have directed the district administration to provide all possible aid to the bereaved families, who have lost their near and dear ones as well as medical assistance to the injured”.
Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, in whose Udhampur Parliamentary constituency the area falls, wrote on Twitter: “Concerned to learn about the damage caused to Chadwal bridge in Kathua due to flash floods, causing inconvenience to traffic. I have immediately got in touch with DC Kathua, Rakesh Minhas as well as the NHAI authorities. My office is constantly following up the matter for expeditious repair and redressal”.
The building of the Fisheries Department was washed away by the overflowing Ujh river in Kathua. The district administrations of Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar have shut all schools as a precautionary measure.
The total discharge from River Chenab has risen to 3,597.62 cumecs. After entering Jammu and Kashmir from Himachal Pradesh, the river passes through Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Reasi and Jammu districts before entering Pakistan. People living in low-lying areas have been advised to remain alert, avoid riverbanks and take precautionary measures.
Due to incessant rains the new track to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi cave shrine has been closed while the helicopter service to the shrine has also been suspended.
Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari has expressed grief over the death of eight persons. He urged the authorities to gear up the rescue operations and shift the inhabitants to some safe place till the weather improves.