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Landslides block Jammu-Srinagar highway; Mughal Road closed after first snowfall

Banihal/Jammu: The traffic on the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway and the Mughal Road was suspended on Saturday as heavy rains lashed several parts of Jammu with higher reaches experiencing first moderate snowfall, officials said.


The Jammu-Srinagar national highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was blocked by a massive landslide triggered by heavy rains at Cafeteria Morh near Ramban town, forcing suspension of traffic, Senior Superintendent of Police (national highway) Shabir Malik said.


He said falling of stones from hillock overlooking the highway were also reported from several places between the Ramban-Banihal sector, including Kela Morh and Moumpassi.


“The incessant rains are hampering the restoration work on the highway It will take at least five hours to clear the landslide in Cafeteria Morh area after the rain stops,” Malik said, adding that the concerned agencies have kept their men and machines ready to carry out the road clearance operation.


Officials said the traffic on the Mughal Road, an alternate link connecting the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri in the Jammu Region with south Kashmir’s Shopian district, was also suspended due to moderate snowfall at Peer Ki Gali and adjoining areas overnight.


Besides Peer Ki Gali along the Mughal Road, reports of first moderate snowfall were also received from higher reaches of Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri and Reasi districts, the officials said.


A weather office spokesperson said moderate rainfall over plains and light to moderate snow was observed over middle and upper reaches during the last 12 hours.


The weatherman has forecast wet weather in the twin Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh for the next 24 hours and said there will be a significant improvement from October 24 afternoon.


Banihal in Ramban district recorded the highest 47.8 mm of rainfall during the past 12 hours till 8.30 am Saturday, followed by 33.8 mm in Katra, the base camp for pilgrims visiting the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district, the spokesperson said.


He said Jammu recorded 12.8 mm of rainfall and a minimum temperature of 15.1 degrees Celsius, 1.6 degrees below normal during this part of the season.


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