`I did not have a government for 36 hours’

A look at recent flooding in northern India

Fakir Ki Fakiri

Authors: Soma Basu, Jyotsna Singh

When the rains began in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on the morning of September 3, it was just another day for Vijay Gadhia. The 50-year-old employee of Jammu’s Power Development Department had gone to Srinagar with his colleagues for official work. He expected the next day to be bright and sunny. A day of rain in the region is usually followed by a day of sunshine. But the rain did not stop. Instead, he heard the news that a bus carrying 70 members of a wedding party was washed away by flash floods in Rajouri, of which 50 could not be traced.

On the night of September 4, the Doodh Ganga, a tributary of the Jhelum flowing through Srinagar, breached its embankment following a cloudburst in its catchment area. On September 5, the water level in the Tawi and Chenab rivers in Jammu rose dramatically…

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