Jammu-Sgr-Leh highway blocked

A cyclist takes umbrella cover amid heavy rains in Srinagar on Monday. Excelsior/Shakeel
A cyclist takes umbrella cover amid heavy rains in Srinagar on Monday. Excelsior/Shakeel

Rain, floods create havoc; temp drops
* Road closed in Mendhar after flood in Nallah

Gopal Sharma/
Fayaz Bukhari
JAMMU/ SRINAGAR, Apr 15: The rain and floods created havoc across Jammu and Kashmir, the higher mountainous areas witnessed fresh snowfall, while Jammu- Srinagar National highway was blocked after landslides in Ramban sector this evening.

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With the fresh snowfall at Pir Panjal in Poonch, Seoj Dhar in Doda and other higher reaches in Kashmir and parts of Kishtwar, a sharp fall in temperature was witnessed. Several Nallahs were flooded in Mendhar, Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban Reasi and Jammu areas.

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An official spokesman said that due to landslides at Kishtwari Pather between Ramsu and Banihal, the busy Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was blocked at around 5 pm. The traffic came to halt with the blockade of road, it could not be restored due to continuous rain and frequent shooting of stones till late this evening. At around 1 pm, the highway was blocked at the same spot during the day, but it was restored after an hour. There is no possibility of reopening of the road even during mid night, a NH authority spokesman said.
Reports from Poonch said that Mendhar-Poonch road via Krishna Ghati was blocked for about three hours due to flood in a Nallah near Sakhi Maidan. Several vehicles remained stranded due to massive flood this afternoon. In Mendhar town, the flooded drains water entered many shops leading to protest by the local traders. The goods of many shopkeepers were damaged due to flooded market road in the absence of proper drainage system.

Vehicles stranded after flood in Nallah on Mendhar-Poonch road.-Excelsior/Rahi Kapoor
Vehicles stranded after flood in Nallah on Mendhar-Poonch road.
-Excelsior/Rahi Kapoor

In Jammu also, several Nallahs were overflooded as heavy rain lashed the city and its adjoining areas. The lanes and drains were also over flooded and with this movement of traffic was disrupted. In some localities, the water entered several houses and other business establishments. A sharp fall in the temperature has been witnessed. In some areas, heavy rain was experienced amidst thunder storm. The power supply in many areas remained affected for hours.
Kashmir was lashed by heavy rains today while higher reaches experienced a fresh light snowfall for the second consecutive day today, bringing down the temperature and leading to rise in the water level of rivers and rivulets.
Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir valley experienced heavy rains today, disrupting normal life and bringing down the temperatures, forcing tourists and local people to wear warm clothes.
Many low-lying areas were waterlogged due to the rainfall in Srinagar and other parts of the Kashmir valley, making life miserable for the people living in these areas.
It rained heavily in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir this evening for 3-4 hours leading to waterlogging of roads. The heavy rains led to massive traffic jams in Srinagar and it took people hours in Srinagar city to travel few kilometres distance. However, rains stopped at around 9 pm.
It was snowing in the hills of Kashmir including at Sonamarg this evening. Several inches of snow has accumulated in the hills since yesterday.
Srinagar-Leh highway was closed today due to snowfall in the Zojila area as it led to slippery road condition.
Meteorological Department today forecast the weather will generally remain cloudy today with intermittent light rain or snow (higher reaches) at many places till the afternoon, and thereafter there will be a gradual improvement. However, in the evening they issued fresh weather forecasting about heavy rains for 4-5 in the evening.
“On April 16-17, the weather will remain cloudy with light rain in isolated places, while on April 18-19, there are chances of light rain and snow over higher reaches in many places with thunder and lightning during the period”.
The weather will remain generally dry from April 20 to April 25, with afternoon thundershower activity that can’t be ruled out.
The MeT office has also issued an advisory for the farmers to suspend farm operations until April 16 in view of inclement weather activity.
It was also said that due to prevailing weather conditions, there could be a temporary disruption of surface transportation over a few higher reaches today. Travelers and tourists have also been advised to plan their trips accordingly, while there is a possibility of landslides, mudslides, and shooting stones due to weather vagaries at high altitudes.
The rainfall data available with the MeT office said, Srinagar received 27.6 mm, Qazigund 41.4 mm, Pahalgam 22.2 mm, Kupwara 28.5 mm, Kokernag 23.2 mm, and Gulmarg 39.8 mm during the past 24 hours.
In Baramulla, the district Administration this evening issued weather advisory asking people not to venture in the flood prone areas. It has also asked people in flood prone areas to shift to safter locations in consultation with the administration.
In the meantime, Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of 8.0 degree Celsius today against 10. 0 degree the previous night, Jammu recorded a minimum temperature of 21.0 degree Celsius, Pahalgam had a low of 5.7 degree Celsius against 9.4 degree Celsius the previous night, Kupwara had a low of 7.2 degree Celsius against the 8.9 degree Celsius a day ago and Gulmarg had a low of 1.2 degree Celsius against the 2.4 degree Celsius recorded the previous night.