Inclement Weather Disrupts Life in Kashmir, Amarnath Yatra Suspended
Pilgrims on their way to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, in Jammu & Kashmir. Image Courtesy: PTI
Srinagar: The Srinagar-Jammu highway was closed on Saturday after fresh rainfall triggered massive landslides washing off parts of the arterial roads that severed the road connectivity to Kashmir valley.
According to district officials at Ramban, which received the highest rainfall since yesterday in the region, the road connecting T3 and T5, which bypassed the Panthyal Tunnel, was washed off due to heavy rainfall, following which the National Highway was closed for clearance.
Due to roadblocks, the highway is also inaccessible at Mehar, Cafeteria Morh, Keela Mor, and Sita Ram passes. The administration, however, informed that the Chapran Nallah stretch is through for the movement of light motor vehicles that were earlier stranded. No major loss of life or property was reported, but district officials in Ramban said that a house was “partially damaged”.
The train services were also disrupted along Qazigund to Banihal railway track after waterlogging was reported at Railway station Hiller in District Anantnag.
“NH 44 near Panthiyal Ramban Jammu Srinagar highway area. The road is again damaged as there are massive landslides and land caving. Man-made disasters are now common due to excessive machinery use and tunnelling. Experts need to look into it seriously,” social activist Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat tweeted.
Several rivulets have reported a rise in water levels increasing threats of flash floods, landslides, shooting stones and mudslides at vulnerable places. The officials first issued an advisory urging people to keep their children away from banks in view of the rain and increasing water levels on the Mahoo-Mangit Nallah.
According to the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Kashmir, the water level in Jhelum has increased upto 16.09 feet at Sangam in South Kashmir. The river flows at a level of 13.46 feet at Srinagar's Munshi Bagh. The river tributaries like Vishow Nallah at Khudwani in Kulgam have been recorded at 8.2 feet, close to the danger mark.
The district police in Kulgam district of South Kashmir have also established emergency helplines to facilitate people in case of distress caused by inclement weather.
The Weather department on Friday issued an advisory about widespread moderate to heavy rain with thunderstorms and lightning till July 9.
“Under the influence of monsoon winds and western disturbance, widespread moderate to heavy rain with thundershower/lightning is expected in Jammu and Kashmir from July 7-9 with main activity on July 8-9,” the meteorological office said in an advisory.
Following the inclement weather, the authorities suspended the Amarnath Yatra, which began on July 1, for the second consecutive day. No fresh batch of Yatris (pilgrims) were allowed from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp in Jammu. Similarly, the Yatris were stopped ahead of the routes from both Pahalgam and Baltal in Kashmir.
The sudden dip in temperature (ranging from 10-15 degrees) came after the region reported a spell of sweltering heat during which some of the hottest days were recorded in a decade.
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