Rains lash Jammu and Kashmir, snowfall in mountains; landslide blocks Jammu-Srinagar highway

On Saturday, Jammu & Kashmir was hit by heavy rains. There was also light snowfall in mountains, including the cave shrine to Amarnath in The Himalayas.

Officials said that rains were witnessed across the union territory bringing down day temperature by around 9°C in the Kashmir valley.

The weather bureau in Srinagar reported that 35.2 mm of rainfall was recorded at Gulmarg in Kashmir, while Batote in Jammu received 37.4mm. Srinagar saw 15.5 mm rains. Pahalgam in south Kashmir recorded 22 mm rainfalls during the night.

Eyewitnesses reported that snowfall was observed in Gulmarg, north Kashmir, at the Afarwat mountains and at the Amarnath cave shrine south Kashmir.

The annual pilgrimage, which lasts 43 days, is located at 3,880 metres in the south Kashmir Himalayas. It begins on June 30, and the pilgrims will travel through treacherous mountain trails and ice-cold rivers.

“There were widespread rains while the upper reaches experienced some snowfall,” said meteorologist M Hussain Mir.

‘Weather to remain erratic for next four days’

Director meteorological department, J&K and Ladakh, Sonam Lotus said that the weather is expected to remain erratic for the next four days in J&K and Ladakh.

“The current weather is overcast with intermittent light to moderate rain and snow over hills at many places,” he said.

Kashmir’s prominent weather spotter, Kashmir_Weather said in a tweet that heavy rains caused flash floods in Loran area, Mandi of district Poonch. “Water has entered several residential buildings,” the handle informed.

It stated that the Srinagar Jammu Highway was closed in Udhampur. “Road blocked at Samroli, Udhampur due to shooting stones and landslides,” it said.

A traffic control official said that traffic was moving after the road was cleared from the blockades. Mir, a meteorologist, stated that the next two days would see light to moderate rains with an increase in intensity on June 21.

“Tuesday will again witness widespread rainfall in the coming week,” Mir said.

The weather office said that the maximum temperature of 19.3°C was recorded in capital Srinagar, a fall of nine degrees from the normal at the time of the year.

“The lowest day temperature was recorded in Gulmarg with mercury dropping to 8.5°C in the day,” said an official of the meteorological department.

The department has also issued an advisory to farmers asking them not to spray in orchards before June 22. “Rain may lead to shooting stones in vulnerable areas. People should watch and drive carefully,” said the MeT director, Lotus.

Heavy rains cause flash floods in Poonch region

Officials said that heavy rains fell on the Jammu region’s plains Saturday, triggering a new landslide at Samroli, Udhampur district. This caused blockage of Jammu-Srinagar’s 278-km-long national highway.

Heavy rains were also reported in the hilly Poonch and Rajouri districts, Ramban, Doda region, and Ramban.

“Flash floods caused by a cloudburst inundated a KGV School in Loran area of Poonch district around 10.30 am. The flash floods caused panic among the children, who were rescued in time and shifted to a safer place,” said a school teacher.

Ramban district administration also advised residents to avoid rivers and streams in light of heavy rains.

Jammu-Srinagar highway blocked

“A fresh landslide, triggered by rains on Saturday blocked Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Udhampur district, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded”, said a police officer.

He said that the machinery and men had been put into service, but that there was still much to be done.

The Samroli Landslide occurred at 1.30pm and caused traffic to be stopped from both directions.

Two private cars were also damaged in another incident that occurred when rolling stones struck them from a hillock above the highway in Panthial, Ramban district.

However, both passengers in the vehicles managed to escape unharmed.

Friday night saw the opening of one-way traffic on the highway that had been closed for almost 10 hours due to a landslide in Banihal.

Rajouri reports that several roads were submerged by a sudden increase in the flow of water from rivers and streams.

The Met department has predicted rains and snow for the Union Territory up to June 21.

“The weather is overcast with intermittent light to moderate rain and snow over hills at many places. Generally cloudy with intermittent rain and snow over higher reaches and passes will continue till June 21,” said an official.

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