Srinagar, Apr 27: Kashmir witnessed a heavy rain in plains and light snowfall over higher reaches for the second consecutive day on Thursday, while the local Meteorological Department has forecasted erratic weather till May 4 in the Himalayan region.
Plains including Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Pulwama, Kulgam and other districts witnessed intermittent rains and higher reaches of Valley, including Sonamarg, Gurez, Tangdar, Keran and other places experienced light snowfall.The change in prevailing weather conditions led to a dip in temperatures.
Director MeT, Sonam Lotus told Rising Kashmir as expected intermittent rain along with thunderstorms and Snowfall occurred over higher reaches occurred at many places in the late evening.
"On Friday, there are 60 percent chances of intermittent rain alongwith thunderstorm (snowfall over higher reaches) very likely at many places of J&K. There is no forecast of major rain or snowfall in the region," he said.
Lotus said on Saturday and Sunday, weather will remain cloudy with possibility of intermittent rain at scattered places towards late evening. Again, from May 1 to 3, there are chances of widespread light to heavy rain in Kashmir," he said.
Following the cloudy weather, various parts of Kashmir on Thursday witnessed a significant drop in day temperatures. Srinagar recorded 20.8 degrees Celsius as the maximum temperature and 7.0 °C as the minimum temperature.
Pahalgam settled at 19.6°C degrees and 3.5 °C as minimum temperatures. Ski-resort Gulmarg recorded 11.5 °C as the maximum temperature and minus 0.5°C as minimum temperature.
Winter Capital Jammu recorded 34.0 degrees Celsius as the maximum temperature and 19.0 °C as the minimum temperature. Batote recorded 23.0 C as the maximum and 7.2 C as the minimum temperature.
Regarding the rainfall, the MeT office said Srinagar received 39.7 mm, Qazigund 20.8 mm of rainfall, Pahalgam 19.3 mm, Kupwara 21.0 mm, Kokernag 31.6 mm and Gulmarg 43.6 mm of rainfall during the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, due to continuous rain during the past 24 hours, the 270 km long highway connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country was blocked due to landslides in Shalgari area of Ramban district on Wednesday late evening.
On Thursday traffic was restored but later landslides blocked traffic again at Shabanbass, Banihal along the highway.
Later in the evening, a truck came under a massive landslide along Jammu-Srinagar highway this afternoon leaving two occupants injured.
In a tweet, Deputy Commissioner Ramban said, "Slide reported from Ratanbas, near Banihal on NH-44. HMV trapped. Rescue operation on."
He said two persons rescued, under treatment at SDH Banihal: Jaswant Raj S/o Sardarilal 35 yrs & Narinder Singh S/o Gagdesh Singh, 46 yrs. Both from Pathankot, Punjab."
SSP NH44 Mohita Sharma said that a massive slide was reported from Ratanbas, Banihal. Few vehicles were trapped. Rescue operation on. SHO and Traffic police on spot.
“Till the clearance of the slide at Ratanbas, traffic on NH is restored via a newly constructed bridge almost nearing completion and stranded traffic is being cleared,” he said.
A traffic police department spokesman said that the highway remained blocked for 10 hours 30 mins due to landslides at Shalgarhi, Banihal. NAVUG Tunnel closed for 04 hours 30 mins by Tunnel authority, making the total blockage of 15 hours.
"Also due to slow movement on NH-44 due to breakdown of 04 HMVs and movement of 07 nomadic flocks between Nashri and NAVYUG Tunnel," he said.
The spokesman said currently Jammu Srinagar NHW is blocked due to a major landslide at Shabanbass, Banihal. Decision regarding the vehicular movement for tomorrow will be taken after clearing the debris.
Regarding Sonamarg road, the spokesman said that subject to fair weather and good road condition, only one way traffic (only LMVs Goods/passenger) from Srinagar towards Kargil shall be allowed on Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri road.
"These vehicles shall be allowed from Sonamarg at 0700 hrs. upto 0930hrs. No vehicle shall be allowed after cut off timing. Motorists are advised to carry anti-skid chains to gain more grip on the slippery road,” he said.