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Fresh snowfall and landslides strand more than 1 500 vehicles on Jammu-Srinagar highway, India

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More than 1 500 vehicles are stranded on Jammu-Srinagar national highway, linking Kashmir with the rest of India, after the highway was closed amid a new round of heavy rain, snow, and landslides on March 12, 2020.

The vehicles are stranded between Ramban, Banihal, Udhampur, Jammu and Kathua districts. At least two trucks were hit by debris, reports said.

Overnight snowfall at Jawahar Tunnel, serving as a gateway to Kashmir valley, and rains along Kheri belt in Udhampur district and Banhal-Rambal stretch which caused multiple new landslides, hampered efforts of early restoration of the highway, officials said.

On March 11, a massive landslide triggered by days of heavy rain occurred near the Khiskhi area, closing the Behnipora-Satkoji road in the Rajwar area of Handwara in north Kupwara district of Kashmir valley.

In neighboring Pakistan, a massive avalanche in Gandla area of Nathia Gali near Abbottabad claimed the lives of at least 3 people and injured 16 others on March 10. According to local media reports, three vehicles were buried under the snow and mud at the site. Search and rescue teams said at the time that one vehicle is still buried under debris.

Image credit: NASA Aqua/MODIS. Acquired March 11, 2020

Featured image credit: NASA Aqua/MODIS. Acquired March 11, 2020

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