Rain, snowfall wreak havoc; NH closed, 11 flights cancelled

Amidst heavy rain, youth running for cover on a Jammu road on Monday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Amidst heavy rain, youth running for cover on a Jammu road on Monday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, Jan 13: Three persons were killed while seven others injured as boulders rolled down on the roads at four different places, while Jammu-Srinagar National Highway continued to be blocked for the second consecutive day due to massive landslides in Ramban area and heavy snowfall at Jawahar Tunnel whereas, 11 flights at Jammu airport were cancelled and two diverted due to bad weather and poor visibility today. Click here to watch video
The rain and snowfall continued to wreak havoc across the region since last evening. Scores of roads including Batote- Doda-Kishtwar, Doda-Bhaderwah, Reasi-Mahore and Basohli-Bani have been closed due to landslides and snowfall. The power supply in entire Rajouri-Poonch belt was snapped since last night due to technical snag in main Jammu-Surankote supply line.
Trikuta hills of Mata Vaishnodevi, Patnitop, Nathatop, Batote, Bhaderwah, Latti, Dudu, Basantgarh, Loran, Dera Gali and parts of Mahore-Gool, Banihal, Doda, Kishtwar and Pir Panchal have received heavy snowfall. With rain and snowfall, power supply to over 80 % area of the region has been affected. While there was total blackout in Poonch-Rajouri, in many parts of Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Udhampur and Kathua also, the power supply was snapped.
Director, Airport Authority Jammu, Dr Parbhat Ranjan said that due to bad weather and poor visibility, 11 flights at Jammu airport was cancelled while two Air India flights were diverted to Delhi today. He said since all the flights at Srinagar Airport remained cancelled today again, it affected the operations at Jammu Airport as well. He said that chopper service at Mata Vaishnodevi shrine from base camp Katra also remained non-operational due to bad weather.
There was about 2-3 inch snowfall at Mata vaishnodevi shrine this evening. The battery car operation also remained suspended while the movement of pilgrims on new track was stopped by the authorities due to shooting stones. However, amidst rain, yatra continued through old track, an official said.
SSP National Highway, J S Johar said that due to falling of boulder at Khooni Nallah (Ramsu), one 45-year-old Moulvi Mohd Khalil ( NC block president from Ukhral), was killed. The highway was closed and he was moving on foot towards his village from Ramsu area. He hailed from Sarwadari village of Ramsu. His body was shifted to Ramsu hospital for legal formalities.
The SSP said that there was more than 2 feet snow in Jawahar Tunnel area while highway was blocked due to land slides at Mompassi, Digdol, Panthial, Gangroo, Battery Chashma, Monkey Morh and two locations in Chanderkote and Nashri area. He said at some places the boulders were cleared but due to continued rain and landslides, the highway was again blocked. He said Batote-Kishtwar road was also blocked at two places near Thathri and Assar and three persons were injured due to shooting stones in Assar area this afternoon. They were hospitalized.
One persons was killed and two others were injured when a boulder hit a private car No. JK20A/ 1828, near Malai Nallah on Reasi-Mahore road today. The vehicle fell down into the gorge after being hit by boulder The deceased was identified as Showkat Hussain, son of Ghulam Nabi, resident of Kund, Mahore. The injured identified as Zaffar Hussain and Mohd Ashraf from Kund village were removed to Dharmari hospital and then referred to Reasi.
An official spokesman said that Reasi-Mahore-Gool, Mahore-Chassana -Budhal and Mahore-Gulabgarh roads were also closed and power supply in the entire area has been snapped since last night. Same was the power supply position in Gool- Sangaldan, Banihal and Mohu-Mangit area of Ramban.
A car during heavy rain slipped into a gorge in Thannamandi area of Rajouri today, causing death of a person and injuries to the two others. A police spokesman identified the deceased as Anees, son of Talat Mehmood, from Sain Samad. Mohd Akbar and another youth were injured in the mishap and hospitalized.
Reports from Udhampur said that Pancheri -Landhar- Bhamag, Ramnagar-Majori-Basantgarh and Latti-Dudu roads were also closed. Basohli-Bani, Billawar- Machhedi and Lohai- Malhar areas of Kathua were also cut off and power supply to most of the areas was snapped. Mandi-Loran, Mandi Sawjian and Surankote-Bafliaz-Dera Gali-Thannamandi roads were blocked due to heavy snowfall besides many roads of Kishtwar and Doda were closed.
There was total blackout in all the major towns of Poonch including Surankote, Mandi and Mendhar while in Rajouri district also the power supply could not be restored till late this evening, reports aid.
A senior PDD official said that power infrastructure has suffered heavy damage and even in many localities of Jammu city, several transformers have been damaged. The PDD staff was on the job to restore supply. He said in rural and snowbound areas, the position was more grim. The reports of damages are being received from other divisions and sub divisions of the region, he added.
Due to heavy rain, the water logging was created in main market at Mendhar. The flood water from drains and lanes entered many shops and houses.
Several rivers and streams in the region were flooded due to heavy rain in Jammu region and water logging in Jammu city affected free movement of vehicular traffic.
A Met spokesman said that moderate rain across the region and snowfall at higher reaches would occur across the region in next 24 hours. He said winter capital city- of Jammu recorded a maximum temperature of 13 degree Celsius and minimum 11.3 deg C, Katra town maximum 11 deg C and minimum 9.4 deg C, Bhaderwah maximum 4.9 deg C and minimum -1.4 deg C while Banihal had maximum 5.9 deg C and -2,6 deg C temperature today.
Meanwhile, a muddy house of one Anant Ram (74), son of Late Bhagat Ram, collapsed at Panchount village of Latti tehsil in district Udhampur today due to heavy rain and snowfall. All the members however, escaped unhurt as they managed to run away outside. The family has been provided shelter by the neighbours.