Heavy rains and flash floods, said to be the worst in 60 years, have killed at least 108 people in India-administered Kashmir, officials have said, as authorities struggled to rescue tens of thousands stranded across the Himalayan region.
"The floods have caused a lot of damage," Indian Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday after being driven around Kashmir's main city, Srinagar, by the region's Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
"If this is the condition of city, what will be the situation in rural areas?" Singh said.
At least 300 federal rescue workers have joined thousands of state police and soldiers to rescue tens of thousands of people stranded across the region. Authorities have set up rescue shelters and had budgeted 200 million rupees ($3.3m) for relief and rescue efforts.
They fear the death toll may rise in the region as more flooding and rain is forecast for the coming days.
Police in collaboration with civil administration and Indian troops have relocated more than 13,000 persons from flood-hit areas across the valley, a police official told Al Jazeera.
Dozens of bridges have been damaged or washed away.
People are crying in the streets for help. We have been told to vacate or move to the second floor. The water has started inching towards our locality.
Hoping for miracle
Locals of inner Srinagar city especially Kani Kadal, Nawab Bazar and Nawa Kadal are on streets, "helplessly watching the waters of Jehlum (river) swelling and hoping for a miracle", the Authint Mail reported.
Public address systems in mosques warned people in the worst-hit neighbourhoods to move to safety while frantic calls for help on social media continued.
"People are crying in the streets for help. We have been told to vacate or move to the second floor. The water has started inching towards our locality," Sahil Ahmad, a resident of Jawahir Nagar in capital Srinagar told Al Jazeera.
Indian officials said hundreds of villages across the Himalayan region were flooded by streams and rivers, including the Jhelum river, which was up to two meteres above the danger level.
"In Kashmir [valley] around 390 villages are submerged under water and 1,125 are affected by flood. In Jammu province also 3,325 villages and 1,110 villages are under partially or fully flood affected," said chief minister Abdullah.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to visit the region on Sunday to assess the damage and rescue efforts.
"The PM will visit Jammu & Kashmir tomorrow to take stock of the situation and understand problems faced by people due to the unfortunate floods (sic)," Modi's office announced on Saturday.
Mass cancellation of weddings
Kashmir's traditional wedding season has also been disrupted by the flooding.
The main English newspaper of the region, Greater Kashmir, published cancellation notices for more than six dozen marriage ceremonies, according to the AP news agency.
Torrential rains and flash floods have killed 128 people in neighbouring Pakistan, officials have said.
Ahmad Kamal, a spokesman for Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority said that 59 people died in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir including the northern Gilgit Baltistan province.
At least 69 people have died in the eastern Punjab province since Thursday, the official said, adding more than 4,000 homes across the country collapsed partially or completely, rendering thousands homeless.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies