Torrential Rains Claim Young Life, Sparks Landslides, Gridlocks in Kashmir


Ø KU, All Schools to Remain Closed Tomorrow

Ø Weather to Improve from Tomorrow Evening: MeT

Suhail Khan

SRINAGAR, Apr 29: Incessant rain over the weekend has transformed Kashmir’s rivers and streams into raging torrents, while landslides triggered by the downpours have caused road closures in many areas. Tragically, a minor boy also lost his life in the aftermath.

These developments have prompted authorities to urge vigilance, especially for residents in low-lying areas and travelers.

Reports reaching Kashmir Despatch said a heavy spell of incessant rain since Sunday evening has wreaked havoc across the Kashmir Valley, with moderate to heavy rainfall inundating roads and low-lying areas.

Higher reaches experienced fresh snowfall, further disrupting normal life on Monday. The Jammu-Srinagar highway and Mughal Road were closed due to the incessant rains, leading to the suspension of classes in most of the schools in north Kashmir by the administration.

Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir received moderate to heavy rainfall, resulting in waterlogging and disruption of normal life.

Some upper reaches, including Gulmarg, Gurez Valley, Razdan Top, Sadhna Top, Mughal Road, and Zojila Pass, received light snowfall, reports said.

Deputy Commissioner, Ramban, Baseer-ul-Haq, said that a minor boy aged between 9-10 years has lost his life after a rock fell on a residential house in Kalapani, Satarsu area of Ramban late afternoon. “A house where two-three families were living got damaged after a rock fell on it, leaving a minor boy dead, whose hand has been retrieved so far,” he said, adding that the rescue operation has been launched to trace the rest parts of the body of the minor boy.

In a similar incident, a landslide damaged a residential house in Bujthala area of Uri in north Kashmir, where seven persons were simultaneously buried under the debris.

“Seven persons have been rescued so far from the debris after a landslide hit a residential house in the locality,” officials said.

Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Minga Sherpa wrote on X: “Team of Dist Admin B’la @BaramullaPolice & Lachhipura Battalion of @ChinarcorpsIA along with locals rescued 7 persons trapped under debris after their house collapsed due to heavy rains in Bujhthala, Tehsil Boniyar, Uri. Two persons injured in the incident are being shifted to the nearest medical facility for treatment.”

Moreover, a government building, housing the Handloom department’s office, has suffered damage in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Talking to Kashmir Despatch, the Director of the Meteorological department (MeT), Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, said that it was already predicted that Jammu and Kashmir will witness heavy rains till April 30.

He said that in the next 24 hours, the weather will remain the same; however, from tomorrow evening, it may improve. The Director said that from tomorrow evening onwards, there is a gradual change in the weather, and from May 1 onwards, there is a complete improvement in the weather conditions.

The Director said that from May 1 to May 7, there is no major prediction; however, the upper reaches of Kashmir may witness snowfall again today.

IMD issued orange alert

India Meteorological Department today issued an orange alert for Jammu and Kashmir, predicting heavy rains (64.5-115.5 mm). The weather department also predicted isolated hailstorms, thunderstorms, and lightning with gusty winds (40-50 kmph) over neighboring states, including Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, on April 29.

Heavy rains have also led to the suspension of class work in most of the schools in J&K as a precautionary measure for the safety of students on Monday. However, the teaching/non-teaching staff shall attend their duties to monitor the situation and ensure the safety of institutional assets in their respective institutions.

Meanwhile, Division Commissioner Kashmir Vijay Kumar Bhuduri on Monday evening announced that all the schools across Kashmir valley will remain closed on Tuesday due to the continuous inclement weather conditions.

He said, “After field assessment and as a precautionary measure, we have decided to keep schools closed here.”

“We are monitoring the situation, and the field officers are continuously updating us,” he said.

The Kashmir University, in a statement issued to Kashmir Despatch, said it is notified for the information of all concerned candidates that all the examinations of the University of Kashmir, which are scheduled to be held on April 30, 2024, stand postponed. Fresh dates shall be issued soon.

National Highways Remained Closed

The officials reported that the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, which is the sole all-weather route connecting Kashmir with the rest of India, was shut down on Monday due to several landslides caused by heavy rainfall that affected large areas of Jammu and Kashmir during the night. The highway was blocked by landslides at Mehar, Gangroo, Mom Passi, and Kishtwari Pather in Ramban district.

The ongoing rainfall is hindering the efforts to clear the debris and restore the highway, according to the officials. They advised travelers to refrain from using the highway until the debris is completely removed.

Furthermore, the Mughal road, which serves as an alternative route connecting the Poonch and Rajouri districts in Jammu with the Shopian district in south Kashmir, has been closed for the past three days due to snowfall in Peer Ki Gali and the surrounding areas, as reported by the officials.

Avalanche Hits Sarbal Area of Sonamarg

Amid torrential rains in other parts of the valley, an avalanche hit the Sarbal area of Sonamarg, located in the Ganderbal district of central Kashmir, today. No casualties or financial losses were reported, as the avalanche occurred on the forest side of the region, causing no damage, according to officials.

Visuals show Project Beacon, a division of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), engaged in a snow-clearing operation at the affected site.

In a separate incident the previous day, a team from the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) successfully rescued a total of 35 vehicles that were trapped in snow at Razdan Top, situated on the Bandipora-Gurez road in Jammu and Kashmir. BRO officials said that the vehicles were stranded due to adverse weather conditions, which included snowfall and snowstorms.

Advisory for Tourists, Public

The Srinagar district administration issued an advisory, asking people, particularly those residing on the left and right banks of River Jhelum and its tributaries and nallahs, to refrain from venturing in and around these water bodies and limit their activities until the improvement of the weather.

Tourists, local shikara wallas, sand miners, and boat ferries in the Jhelum/Dal Lake for travel shall not attempt to cross before verifying the condition and situation of these water bodies.

Suhail Khan
Suhail Khan

Suhail Khan is a filmmaker, content writer, and freelance journalist.


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