Heavy rain and snowfall persist in Jammu and Kashmir, landslides leave hundreds stranded

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The Jammu-Srinagar national highway was closed on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, following heavy snowfall in the Jawahar Tunnel area that led to multiple landslides, stranding more than 300 vehicles. Heavy precipitation continued into Wednesday, March 24, for the fourth consecutive day, resulting in a temperature drop in much of Jammu and Kashmir.

Persistent rainfall in most parts of the highway triggered landslides at almost a dozen areas between Banihal and Chanderkote, leaving more than 300 vehicles stranded on both sides.

According to Parul Bhardwaj, Deputy Superintendent of Police Traffic, a few hundred vehicles were stuck on the road since Monday night, March 22.

"Despite incessant rain and the lurking threat of shooting stones, the men and machinery kept the highway open. The majority of the stranded vehicles in Ramban were cleared last night itself," he told PTI news agency.

Heavy precipitation continued into Wednesday, bringing fresh snowfall in the mountainous regions of Kashmir while the plains were drenched by rain. Officials reported up to 0.3 m (1 foot) of snow in Gulmarg, a popular skiing destination.

Fresh snowfall also occurred in other areas of the valley, including Sonamarg in the Ganderbal district and Pahalgam in the Anantnag district. Around 0.3 m (1 foot) of fresh snow was recorded in Sadhana Top and Z-Gali in Kupwara District, while other areas registered about 15 cm (6 inches).

The meteorological department said there is a chance of further rain and snow in the valley for the next few days.

Featured image credit: Kanak News/YouTube

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