Udayavni Special

Amarnath yatra suspended after landslide forces traffic on Jammu-Srinagar highway to halt


PTI, Jul 31, 2019, 3:40 PM IST

Jammu: A minor was killed and another injured in rain-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur district, while the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for vehicular traffic after a landslide, officials said.

The Amarnath Yatra was also suspended as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident, they said.

An eight-year-old boy died and a 13-year-old girl was injured in two house collapse incidents after heavy rains in Udhampur district.

Pawan Kumar died while Sunita was injured seriously in the incidents in Loundna and Udhampur areas late Tuesday night.

She was rushed to a hospital, where her condition was stated to be critical.

The intermittent rains also triggered a landslide at Morh Passi near Balli Nallah along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in the district, blocking the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country.

“Heavy rains were hampering the ongoing clearance operation on the 270-km highway,” an official said, adding that due to the closure of the highway, the Amarnath Yatra was suspended from Jammu for the day.

Director of State Meteorological Department Sonam Lotus said a record-breaking rainfall of 342 mm was experienced in Udhampur district since 8 pm on Tuesday.

Katra town, which serves as the base camp for the Vaishno Devi pilgrims in Reasi district, also recorded 292.4 mm rainfall during the same period, Lotus said.

In view of the heavy rains, the movement of pilgrims along the new track to the Vaishno Devi shrine was suspended as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident, a police official said.

However, he said the pilgrims were moving towards the cave shrine through the old route.

The weatherman had issued a ‘yellow’ warning alert, the least dangerous out of the weather warnings, for the Jammu region till Thursday.

The weather department issues colour-coded warnings to alert the public ahead of severe or hazardous weather which has the potential to cause “damage, widespread disruption or danger to life”.

Jammu has recorded 73.4 mm rainfall during the past 24 hours, Lotus said, adding that the minimum temperature marked a dip of 1.3 notches to settle at 24.4 degrees Celsius.

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