Incessant rains in Kashmir in the past 24 hours forced closure of the Srinagar-Jammu and Srinagar-Leh national highways on Wednesday, while the day temperature dipped by eight degrees Celsius. Several people were rescued following flash floods.
The Kashmir valley witnessed intermittent rains for the past few days. However, in the past 24 hours, there were incessant rains, which triggered landslides on the Srinagar-Jammu and Srinagar-Leh highways. Both the roads have been closed for the traffic.
According to the meteorological department, around 20 mm rain was recorded in the past 24 hours in Srinagar.
"Continuous rains resulted in landslides at Panthal and Patnitop on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, resulting in its closure," said a traffic department official.
The torrential rains that occurred on Wednesday night damaged the highway at several places. "The Sringar-Leh highway has also been closed," said the official.
Most streams and rivers, including the Jehlum and Sindh rivers in south and north Kashmir respectively, swelled during the day.
The authorities evacuated several residents in south Kashmir's Khudwani area in Kulgam district when water in the Vaishav canal marooned nearby areas. South Kashmir's Qaimoh village in Shopian district also saw water entering villages from a nearby irrigation canal.
The fire and emergency department rescued 23 members of the nomad families from the Kapran area in Shopian district after water rose in a local canal.
The district administrations of Anantnag and Kulgam have sounded flood alert.
"Water level has increased in the steams and canals due to incessant rains. Officers have been asked to remain vigilant to tackle any untoward situation. No official will be allowed to leave the headquarters," said Bashir Ahmad Bhat, deputy commissioner, Shopian.
In north Kashmir's Ganderbal district, the police rescued one person stuck in the rising waters of the Sindh river.
"Manzoor Ahmad Ganie, a resident of Check Watal, Lar, was swayed away by the gushing water while collecting wood. The police rescued him later," said a police spokesman.
The rescue operation was started at 9 am and Ganaie was rescued by 2 pm.
Temperature in Srinagar has dropped sharply due to rains. While maximum temperature was recorded as 19.9 degrees Celsius, the minimum stood at 14 degrees Celsius.
"It's departure from the normal by nine degrees Celsius," said the meteorological department.
The metrological department warned of more rains in next three days. "A western disturbance over J&K and its interaction with the monsoon currents over the North West India is likely to affect the state on Wednesday with occasional gaps," said Met director Sonum Lotus.
He predicted moderate to heavy rainfall and snowfall over higher reaches. "The Srinagar-Jammu, Srinagar-Leh, and Leh-Manali road will also witness rains and snowfall," said Lotus.
He warned that these weather conditions may trigger landslide and flash flood in vulnerable areas of the state.
"The weather system may disrupt surface and air transport during these days. The day temperature may fall by 7-8 degrees Celsius," he added.