Authorities rule out flood threat in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Incessant rains continued on Friday in Jammu and Kashmir even as the weather office dispelled fears of any impending floods in the state.

“Let me make it clear, there is no threat of flood in the state so far because of the rains that have been occurring here,” Sonam Lotus, director of Jammu and Kashmir meteorological department said.

“We are expecting reduction in rainfall activity in Jammu and Kashmir from today onwards,” he said.

“This, however, does not mean there would be no rainfall anywhere during the next three to four days. Thunderstorms and scattered rainfall activity could occur during the next few days, but there is no reason to panic as rivers and other water bodies are unlikely to swell up alarmingly because of the rainfall.”

Meanwhile, the Western Disturbance is still lying over Jammu and Kashmir and adjoining areas and so does its induced cyclonic circulation over Punjab and Haryana.

With this, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh will continue with scattered light to moderate rain and snow with few isolated heavy spells on Saturday. 

The disturbances have caused appreciable decrease in night temperatures because of the rainfall in the plains and snow in the higher reaches during the last two days in the state.

“The minimum temperature was 1.9 degrees Celsius in Srinagar city today which is three degrees below normal. The minimum was minus 1.5 in Gulmarg, 1.0 in Pahalgam; zero in Leh town and minus 4.0 in Kargil town of Ladakh region,” another official of the meteorological department said.

“The minimum temperature in Jammu city was 14.5 today (Friday). It was 11.5 in Katra town, 4.1 in Batote, 5.0 in Bannihal, 4.1 in Bhaderwah and 12.5 in Udhampur town of the Jammu region.”

Water-logging at most places in Srinagar city caused inconvenience to pedestrians and motorists. Floods devastated Kashmir in September 2014, making people apprehensive of another inundation during heavy rainfall.

 

North Kashmir schools ordered shut

Authorities on Friday morning issued directions to close all the educational institutions in North Kashmir including  Gurez valley keeping in view the ongoing bad weather. 

District authorities issued directions for closing all educational institutions in Tulail and Gurez valley of Bandipora district for two days. The area is covered under a two feet thick blanket of snow and the weather conditions have been termed as ‘unfavourable’.

 

Highway reopens partially, trucks stranded

Traffic on the national highway, linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was reopened partially this afternoon after remaining closed since yesterday due to landslides and shooting stones, triggered by heavy rains. “We have allowed stranded vehicles on the highway to move towards Srinagar this afternoon,” a traffic police official said.

He said the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, pressed into service sophisticated machine and men and cleared the landslides on the highway. However, landslides and shooting stones continued at some places.

He said more than 600 passengers vehicles and 300 trucks, loaded with essentials, which were stranded at different places on the highway were on way to Srinagar.

However, there are large number of trucks still stranded on the highway from both sides. Decision to allow traffic on the highway tomorrow will be taken after receiving report from the BRO and traffic police officials posted at different places.

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