SrinagarBoats or dinghies could have come in handy for most of the waterlogged parts of this summer capital of the state and others parts of Valley on Friday. Higher reaches of Kashmir Valley received moderate to heavy snowfall even as strategic Srinagar-Jammu highway was closed along with many other thoroughfares.
The skies over Srinagar and other parts of Valley opened up during the early commute, turning most of the roads into subterranean lakes.
An official of the local meteorological department said that Srinagar received rainfall of 4.5 mm during the day from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.
The maximum rain was received in south Kashmir’s Qazigund having 31.4-mm rain during the time, he said.
Pahalgam resort, also in south Kashmir, received 29.7 mm rainfall, and Kokernag recorded 20.2 mm rain. Kupwara district in north Kashmir received 24.4 mm during the time.
Officials said that Sadna Top in north Kashmir’s Tangdar area received nearly 2 ft snow, Machil had nearly one foot, Ferkiyan 6 inches, Jat Gali 6 inches. Plains in Lolab also received light snowfall.
Kargil, Zanskar, Zojila, Sonmarg, Drass, Kargil and the Mughal road also received fresh snowfall, an official said, adding that the highest snowfall of 2-ft was recorded at Drass.
Meanwhile, Srinagar-Jammu highway the only surface link connecting Kashmir Valley with rest of the world was closed due to landslides and shooting stones at Panthal, Anokifal and Marog.
The landslides and the shooting stones in these areas occurred at around 4:15. Subsequently, authorities closed the highway for vehicular traffic, an official of the traffic control room Ramban said.
He said the shooting stones and landslides were continuing in these areas and the decision regarding the opening of the road will be taken once the weather improves and the road is cleared.
The Tangdar-Kupwara, Machil-Kupwara, Ferkiyan-Kupwara and Srinagar-Leh highways were closed due to snowfall. The Mughal Road connecting Poonch and Rajouri districts was also closed due to snowfall in the area.
At Khoni Nallah near Sadna Top in Tangdar, Kupwara, a landslide occurred and at least 15 persons had a miraculous escape. The timely action by local army brigade in the area rescued all of them to safety, sources said.
Reports of partial damage to residential structures were received from Dooru, Uttersoo Achabal, Kokernag where trees were uprooted due to strong windstorm. The reports of the windstorm were also received from other parts of south Kashmir.
Minister for Disaster Management, Relief, Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Floriculture, Javaid Mustafa Mir took stock of the situation due to continued rainfall here. He asked officers to ensure minimum disruption of services.
As per an official statement, the minister asked the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmed Khan to monitor the situation and take necessary measures wherever required.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu Hemant Kumar was asked to ensure that help and assistance be provided to passengers, stranded due to the closure of Srinagar-Jammu Highway and efforts be made to reopen the highway at the earliest, the statement said.
Meanwhile, low danger avalanche warning of Level 2 has been issued by SASE for Baramulla, Kupwara, Kargil, Bandipora and low danger avalanche warning of Level 1 for Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Udhampur, Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Ganderbal and Leh.
Deputy Commissioner Kupwara Khalid Jahangir said there was no cause for worry in connection with the incessant rains in the Valley.
He said although water level has increased at certain places but was below the danger mark. He said Quick Response teams of Revenue, R&B, I&FC, etc have been deployed at Natnussa, Zachaldara, Tekkipora, Armpora, Kannthpora, Maidanpura and other places.
He said ADC Handwara and ADC Kupwara visited many places to assess the situation. All Tehsildars and other revenue officials are in the field in their respective areas to monitor the situation and provide first-hand information to the district administration for real-time mobilisation of men and machinery, he said.
Mehbooba Asks Admin To Be Alert
In view of the heavy downpour in plains and snowfall in higher reaches of the State, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has directed the Divisional Administration of Kashmir to be in a state of preparedness and reach out to people to minimise the level of disruption caused to people due to bad weather conditions.
The Chief Minister has directed all the concerned Departments like PDD, I&FC, PHE and other Departments to gear up in view of the inclement weather and deploy their men and machinery on the ground to meet the situation arising out of heavy rainfall.
The Chief Minister has directed the Srinagar Municipal Corporation and Urban Local Bodies to ensure that dewatering process is initiated quickly in all the low lying and water logged areas and roads of Srinagar city and other towns. She also directed the PDD authorities to ensure immediate repair and replacement of infrastructure damaged due to strong winds in many parts of the Valley.
Expressing concern over the losses caused to orchards and other property in Anantnag, Kulgam and Shopian district and parts of Chenab Valley due to hail and strong winds, Mehbooba Mufti has directed the Divisional administrations of both provinces to provide all relief and assistance at the earliest to people in need of it.
The Chief Minister has also directed the Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir to supervise early reopening of major Highways connecting Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh regions and till then the stranded passengers be taken care of by the administration properly. She also directed the Deputy Commissioners of hilly districts to keep a watch on the civilian movement in areas for which avalanche warnings have been issued by the Met Department.
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