Landslides Close Highway,100’s Stranded

SRINAGAR: Hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying passengers, got stranded Wednesday afternoon along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway following its closure due to landslides, triggered by heavy rains.

“We have closed the highway, linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country,” a traffic police official told UNI this afternoon.

He said heavy rain since early this morning triggered landslides between Ramban and Ramban forcing authorities to suspend traffic.

It was raining, hampering the road clearance operation launched by Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintainance of the highway.

Meanwhile, hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying passengers got stranded on both sides of the road.

As and when the road is put through, stranded vehicles will be allowed to move towards their respective destinations before allowing fresh traffic from Srinagar and Jammu, he said.

Meanwhile Mughal Road too was closed for traffic following snow and rains.

Officials said 1 to 1.5 feet of fresh snow accumulated on Simpthan top and Peer-ki-Gali, leading to the closure of historic road, linking south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch region.

Gulmarg’s Affarwat recorded around one feet of snow while Zabarwan mountains in Srinagar experienced light snowfall, they said.

An official of the local meteorological department said that as predicted, there were rains in plains with Kupwara in north Kashmir recording highest downpour of 27.2 mm during the day. The frontier district recorded a day temperature of 7.7 degree Celsius, almost 13 degrees Celsius than the normal temperature for this time of the year.  

Srinagar recorded 13.4 degrees Celsius, six degrees below actual while it had a rainfall of 12.8 mm since morning, the official added. 

Qazigund recorded a maximum temperature of 12.7 degrees Celsius while Pahalgam tourist resort had 6.4 degree Celsius and adjoining Kokernag had maximum of 10.6 degrees Celsius. Pahalgam had a rainfall of 21.0 mm, Kokernag received 16.8 mm while as Qazigund received 17.6, the official said.

The weather office here has already issued fresh prediction of rains in plains and snowfall over the higher reaches till Thursday in the state.

“We are expecting snow and rains at different places in Jammu and Kashmir in next 24-hour,” the weatherman said.

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