Jammu-Srinagar highway closed for safety after landslides

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We have issued the advisory after the water level in River Jhelum crossed the 18 feet mark at Sangam.

"Due to continuous rains, the gauge at Ram Munshi Bagh (locality in Srinagar) has crossed the flood declaration level of 18-feet".

According to Hanif, if Valley experiences rainfall tonight also, then there is every likelihood of floods.

Massive traffic jams were witnessed in many parts of the city as the roads were inundated as drains were overflowing.

"A rescue operation is going on at Tarzoo, Panzipora, Hygam, Dangiwacha and Behrampora areas of Sopore in north Kashmir".

The Meteorological Department also issued a heavy rain alert for the hill districts of Uttarakhand over the next 48 hours, starting late on Tuesday night.

Vehicles navigate their way through a waterlogged street in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir on Thursday. The injured have been hospitalized.

Official sources said a woman identified as Khatun Begam died due to lightening in Rajouri district.

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Landslides triggered by incessant rains on Wednesday forced the Jammu-Srinagar highway to close for safety reasons, an official said.

On the status of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the chief minister directed the IGP Traffic to supervise the reopening of the road at the earliest and prioritize the clearing of stranded passengers on the road. "As a precautionary measure, the road was closed for all kinds of vehicular traffic today".

Five incoming and five outgoing flights were cancelled owing to the bad weather, he said.

The authorities have also closed down all schools in the Valley till Sunday in view of the rain and unusual snowfall at this time of the year.

The University of Kashmir, Islamic University and Central University also postponed exams for the day. Most parts of the Valley are without electricity since yesterday.

He said the staff deputed on flood duty in central Kashmir have been directed to report to their respective beats. However, the most disastrous flood that hit Jammu and Kashmir in 2014, and horrifically flooded Srinagar too, had devastated the lives of thousands of people - as many as 277 people had lost their lives.

"The rate of increase in the water level has shown a decline and it bodes well if the weather starts improving soon", the official said. "However, occasional light rain tomorrow can't be ruled out". Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti reviewed the situation arising out of incessant rains and directed the officials to chalk out contingency plans for flood-prone areas and make available nearby buildings, in case of emergency evacuations.

The authorities have set up helplines in Srinagar and at all other district headquarters of the Valley and the weatherman has reassured that there would be overall improvement from Friday.