A flood alert was issued for south and central Kashmir on Thursday after the Jhelum and its tributaries crossed the 18-feet mark at Sangam in Anantnag district, the Kashmir Reader reported. Police have set up 24-hour emergency helplines in all districts of the valley and are on high alert, ANI reported.

An official of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department told PTI that the water at the Sangam gauge was 18.40 at noon, 40 notches above the ‘flood alarm’ mark and three feet below the 21-feet mark when floods are officially declared.

At Ram Munshi Bagh in Srinagar city, the water level was 15.50 feet at noon but reached 18 feet by evening, ANI reported.

“People residing along embankments of the Jhelum and in low-lying areas of south and central Kashmir have been requested to remain vigilant,” the official said. However, he insisted that there was no need to panic.

According to the Meteorological Department, Srinagar had received 83.9 mm rain and snowfall over the past 24 hours, while Kokernag in south Kashmir had received 69.9 mm of rain during the same period.

The continuous rain had forced the arterial Jammu-Srinagar National Highway to be closed to vehicular traffic, reported Mint.