Rains Trigger Landslide, Block Banihal Highway

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Banihal/Jammu- A fresh landslide, triggered by rains, Saturday blocked Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded, officials said.

The landslide struck the 270-km highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, around 1.30 pm at Samroli, forcing suspension of the traffic from both sides, the officials said.

They said the concerned road clearance agencies have pressed its men and machines and efforts are on to restore the traffic at the earliest despite continuous rains.

The officials said at least two private cars suffered damages after being hit by rolling stones from a hillock overlooking the highway near Panthiyal in Ramban district.

However, the passengers travelling in both the vehicles escaped unhurt, they said.

The highway, which had remained closed for nearly 10 hours the previous day following a landslide near Banihal, was opened for one-way traffic Friday night, the officials said, adding the light motor vehicles were allowed from both sides this morning.

Intermittent rainfall continued in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir over the past two days, providing much needed relief to the people from the scorching heat especially in the plains of Jammu region.

Reports from Rajouri said several roads were submerged due to sudden rise in the flow of water in rivers and streams, the officials said.

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