Incessant Rains Disrupt Normal Life In Kashmir


A roadside vendor sells vegetables amid incessant rains in Srinagar on Saturday | KO Photo by Abid Bhat.

Another Wet Spell In J&K From April 20: MeT

Srinagar: Incessant rains lashed plains of the valley while the upper reaches received another snow spell on Saturday, even as the meteorological department predicted brief improvement in weather conditions on Monday next before another three-day wet spell begins on Kashmir on April 20.

The famous ski resort of Gulmarg and some other areas in the higher reaches of Kashmir received light snow, while plains were lashed by rains on Saturday, officials said.

Gulmarg, the world famous skiing resort in north Kashmir, received 21.8mm of rain during the time and recorded a low of 0.5 degree Celsius against 1.0 degree Celsius on the previous night which was below 1.8 degree Celsius than the normal for the area, the officials said.

They said there were reports of fresh snowfall in other areas in the higher reaches of the valley and Ladakh region during the last 24 hours.

The plains of the valley, including the summer capital Srinagar, were lashed by rains which continued for most part of the day, they said.

Owing to the snowfall and rains, the maximum temperature settled several degrees below the normal for this part of the season, the officials said.

The Meteorological (MeT) office has said there is a possibility of some improvement in the weather on Monday.

“Fairly widespread rain” has been forecast again on April 20 and “widespread rain” on April 22 and 22 respectively.

Here in Srinagar, the intermittent rains caused water logging at several places causing much inconvenience to the commuters. City’s commercial hub Lal Chowk and its neighbourhood areas saw thin movement of people, as the rains had inundated many lanes and streets. Reports of water logging due to incessant rains have also been received from other parts of Srinagar.

Meanwhile, the fresh snowfall in upper reaches and the rains in plains plummeted the day temperature sharply, an official of the weather department said.

He said Srinagar received 24.8mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours till 8:30 a.m.

The rainfall also brought the minimum temperature down as Srinagar recorded a low of 7.2 degree Celsius against 7.8 degree Celsius on the previous night. The temperature was below 0.2 degree Celsius normal in the summer capital of J&K for this time of the year, he said.

Qazigund received 23.4mm of rain and recorded a low of 6.2 degree Celsius against previous night’s 7.4 degree Celsius, the official said. Pahalgam received 4.7mm during the time while the famous resort in south Kashmir recorded a low of 5.3 degree Celsius against 3.4 degree Celsius on the previous night, he said.

Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, received 16.2mm of rain and recorded a low of 4.8 degree Celsius against previous night’s 6.0 degree Celsius, the official said.

Kupwara received 14.0mm of rain during the 24 hours while the north Kashmir district recorded a low of 6.0 degree Celsius against 6.3 degree Celsius on the previous night, the official said.

Jammu district received 16.4mm of rain, Banihal 26.8mm, Batote 35.4mm, Katra 18.6mm, Bhaderwah 22.2mm and Kathua 4.4mm, the official added.

Landslide, Shooting Stones Block Highway

The strategic Srinagar-Jammu highway on Saturday was closed for vehicular traffic as fresh snowfall in upper reaches of the Valley and incessant rains lashed plains dipping the day temperature sharply.

The 270- km highway, the only surface link connecting Valley with rest of the world, was closed for traffic following incessant overnight rains triggering landslides and shooting stones at several places along the highway, officials said. They said landslide and shooting stones at Cafeteria Morh Ramban and Panthyal prompted the traffic authorities to suspend the traffic for the safety of commuters.

A Jammu-bound truck was also hit by stones rolling down a hillock overlooking the highway near Panthiyal but the driver and his helper escaped unhurt, they said. The officials said the traffic on the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu and progressed smoothly till 3.30 pm despite incessant rains all along the highway.

However, landslides at various places, including Panthiyal, Cafeteria Morh and Digdole, forced suspension of the traffic, they said, adding that several hundred vehicles were left stranded on the highway in Ramban district and efforts are on to clear them.

“No vehicular movement shall be allowed from either side on the highway tomorrow (Sunday) in view of inclement weather/landslides at several places and continuous raining on the arterial road,” a spokesperson of the traffic department said.

He said the road clearance agencies have deployed their men and machines at the blocked spots and are making efforts to ensure early restoration of traffic on the highway.

The stranded vehicles would be allowed to move towards their destinations once the road is made traffic-worthy, the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, the Srinagar-Leh highway, linking Kashmir valley with Ladakh and the historic 86-km-long Mughal road continue to remain closed for traffic.

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