Rain, snowfall lash J&K; 7 hurt in house collapse

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR/ JAMMU, Apr  20: Higher reaches of Kashmir and parts of  Jammu region  received fresh snowfall today leading to closure of Srinagar-Jammu and Srinagar-Leh highways besides major hilly roads while the plains were lashed by rains leading to water-logging of city roads and flash floods at several places.
Seven persons were injured when a house collapsed during rain in Surankote area this afternoon while chopper service at Katra Mata Vaishnodevi remained suspended due to bad weather today.
Inspector General of Traffic Police, Basant Rath said that Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed today due to shooting stones in Ramban area while Srinagar-Leh highway and Mughal Road were blocked due to snowfall at higher reaches.
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The weatherman has predicted light to moderate rain and thundershowers with scattered heavy falls over most places over the State for next 24 hours.
Sadna Top in North Kashmir’s Tanghdar area received nearly 2 feet of snow, Machhil one feet, Ferkiyan 6 inches, Z-Gali one feet and Keran one feet.
Kargil, Zanskar, Zojila, Sonamarg, Drass and the Mughal road also received fresh snowfall with Drass recording 2 feet and Mini Marg 2.6 feet of snow.
The Zabarwan hills overlooking Srinagar city also had fresh snowfall this evening leading to drop in the temperatures.
The incessant rains led to water logging of city roads at several places leading to difficulties for the people in commuting. However, there were no pumps of the SMC draining out the water.
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.
Pahalgam received 29.7 mm rainfall, and Kokernag recorded 20.2 mm rain. Kupwara district in north Kashmir received 24.4 mm during the time.
Srinagar-Jammu highway was closed due to landslides and shooting stones at Chambalvas,  Panthal, Anokifal and Marog areas. The landslides and the shooting stones in these areas occurred at around 5.15 pm. Subsequently, authorities closed the highway for vehicular traffic. 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.
Srinagar-Leh road was closed this morning due to snowfall at Zojilla pass and Minimarag. There was snow accumulation of 2.6 feet at Minimarag and 6 inches at Sonamarg and it was snowing continuously at Minimarag and Sonamarg tonight.
Authorities also closed Kupwara -Tanghdar, Kupwara-Machhil and Kupwara- Keran roads due to snowfall.
An official said that at Khoni Nallah near Sadna Top in Tanghdar, 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.
The Mughal road was also closed this morning due to snowfall at Peer Ki Gali.
The Bandipora- Gurez road was closed due to fresh snow fall at Razdhan Top where over one feet of snow had accumulated this evening.
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.
Meanwhile, low danger avalanche warning has been issued by SASE for Baramulla, Kupwara, Kargil, Bandipora, Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Udhampur, Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Ganderbal and Leh.
The incessant rains triggered flood threat in several villages of Langate in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district. The  water levels in major streams in the area was above the danger mark  leading to inundation of roads at several places.
In several villages water has gushed into shops, residential houses and commercial complexes but the authorities are yet to turn up to come to the rescue of flood hit population.
The residents of Sudergund, Hangah, Maratgam, Batagund and Shanoo said that poor drainage system is the cause of flood like situation in many villages of Langate .
Reports from Poonch said that seven members of a family were injured when a house collapsed at Kallar Kalal in Surankote area this afternoon. The people of the area rushed for the rescue  and shifted the the injured to Surankote hospital. Three seriously injured were referred to GMC Hospital, Jammu.
Due to rain and snowfall on higher reaches in Jammu region, there has been sharp fall in the temperature. The water logging at many places was witnessed throughout the Jammu city and it affected the smooth flow of traffic.
The helicopter service to Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine from Katra base camp remained suspended due to bad weather. However, yatra continued smoothly even during rain.
Due to rain several hilly roads in Mahore, Dudu-Basantgarh  and Doda Kishtwar have been closed. Thannamandi-Surankote road has also been closed due to fresh snowfall at Dera Ki Gali. The power supply to many areas has been snapped due to rain, snowfall and wind storm.


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