Man dies of lightning strike in Udhampur
STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU/SRINAGAR: Over 4,000 vehicles were left stranded as the arterial Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained closed for the second consecutive day following heavy snowfall and landslides which blocked vehicular movement at several places, officials said on Friday. After heavy snowfall, Kashmir remained cut off from the rest of the country for the second day on Friday while flights to Srinagar airport were suspended due to poor visibility. Roads connecting the summer capital of the newly-formed union territory with far flung areas like Gurez, Macchil, Keran and Tangdhar were also shut due to adverse weather conditions. The Mughal Road, connecting the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region with South Kashmir’s Shopian district, was also closed for traffic for the third consecutive day on Friday after snowfall in the high altitude areas on Wednesday, officials said. “The national Highway is closed for second consecutive day today due to the accumulation of snow at various places and a landslide triggered by heavy rains in Samroli,” an official said. As a result, over 4,000 vehicles are stranded at various places enroute. As per reports over 4,000 vehicles, mostly trucks, are stranded at Nagrota, Udhampur, Ramban, Banihal, Sidhra, Samba and Kathua areas on the highway. Officials said no traffic has been allowed from either the Jammu or Srinagar side due to snowfall and slippery road conditions. Officials said vehicles have been stopped at Nagrota traffic checkpost on the highway on the outskirts of Jammu and also at Udhampur. Mughal road is closed for the third consecutive on Friday due to heavy snowfall at Pir Ki Gali and Shopian areas, they said. They said commuters have been directed to avoid travel along the road to avoid any untoward incident.
An official of the Airport Authority of India said all incoming and outgoing flights at Srinagar airport have been cancelled.
“The runway is clear but the visibility is poor which has resulted in no flights being able to operate at Srinagar airport. Depending on the weather situation, flights may be able to operate later in the day,” the official said.
Heavy snowfall across Kashmir on Thursday severely affected essential services like electricity and water supply.
The unseasonal snowfall has resulted in uprooting of trees and electric poles in many areas.
Meanwhile, a man died after being struck by lightning in Udhampur district, while 16 people caught in snowfall and flash floods were rescued by security personnel, officials said on Friday.
The lightning struck a place in Chenani belt of the district where Bittu Ram had taken shelter on Thursday night, police said.
In the other incident, a car with three people on board was moving from Chenani to Nagulta, when it was caught in a flash flood at Dabbad area of the district, they said.
Policeman Shakti Singh along with some locals launched a rescue operation to save the three passengers in the car even as the vehicle got washed away in the floods, they said.
Also, security forces rescued 13 passengers who were stranded on Mughal Road following heavy snowfall on Thursday night, the police said.
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