Srinagar: Marking the first major wet spell of the season, rains continued to lash plains of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday with Qazigund in southern Kashmir recording the highest rainfall at 31.4 mm by Friday afternoon.
A spokesperson of the MeT department told Kashmir Reader that the wet weather is likely to continue till Saturday noon.
At the time of filing of this report, Srinagar recorded 26.2mm of rain on Friday, while Pahalgam, Kokernag, Kupwara, Banihal, Batote, Bhaderwah, Katra and Jammu recorded 29.7, 14.2, 24.4, 28.6, 13.0, 31.6 11.5 and 11.4mm of rainfall, respectively.
Director of Kashmir Meteorological department, Sonum Lotus, said that light rains and thundershowers are likely to occur at most places and heavy rain at isolated areas during the next 12 hours in Kashmir. “The weather is likely to improve from Saturday noon,” he predicted.
He said that the higher reaches are expected to receive snowfall.
The rainfall has brought relief to farmers across the valley who were facing drought conditions due to a protracted dry spell. Water bodies in Kashmir had so dried up that the administration had asked farmers in parts of Kashmir to desist from planting paddy this year.
Kashmir Reader had reported earlier this month that the Chief Engineer at the Irrigation and Flood Control department had asked farmers in an area at the border of Baramulla and Kupwara districts to not plant paddy this year, because there was not sufficient water available in rivers and water bodies.
Lotus said that Jammu and Kashmir has received sufficient rain this month. He said that Gulmarg has received in April the most rainfall, at 194.4mm so far, while Kupwara, Batote, Banihal and Pahalgam have received 155.4, 173.1, 137.9, and 131.6 mm of rainfall, respectively.
Similarly, Srinagar, Kokernag, Bhaderwah, Katra and Jammu have received 101.6, 117.6, 118.0, 50.2 and 45.2mm of rain, respectively, in April. These figures exclude the recordings of today.
The incessant rains have also brought down the mercury by several degrees.
Met officials said that the Zojila Pass near Amarnath Cave, Drass, Sadhna Top and several other higher reaches received light to heavy snowfall. The famous ski resort of Gulmarg and nearby peaks including Affarwat, several hills of Kupwara and Uri received fresh snowfall on Friday morning.
Reports from border town Uri said that most of the mountains along the Dara Hajipeer, including on the other side of LoC, received fresh snowfall on Friday morning and the snowfall continued for hours.
Accumulation of rain water submerged many areas in Baramulla, Sopore, Pattan and Hajin.
People in Azadgung, Khawajabagh, Stadium Colony, and Mohlla Jadeed in Baramulla, Iqbal market, Armpora, Batpora, Model town A, B and C in Sopore sub district, and several areas of Pattan and Hajin said their areas were submerged in rain water. The people of these areas appealed to the government to immediately address the water-logging issues.
Rainfall led to water-logging in several areas of Hajin in Bandipora district. Locals said that Mir Mohallah, Banger Mohallah, Kochak Mohallah, Syed Mohallah were water-logged due to rain water as well as overflowing of drains. Large pits dug for underground drainage works posed a threat to commuters and pedestrians, they said.
A local, Mohammad Akbar, told Kashmir Reader if the rain continues for one more day, the water might enter homes.
Locals said it was difficult for them to venture out from their homes and no officer from the administration visited their area to take stock of the situation.
Incessant rains for the past one week have triggered landslides along Srinagar-Muzaffarabad national highway in Uri area of Baramulla district. Due to landslides, the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway remained blocked for hours near Rajanwani on Friday. A rock sliding also damaged a 33KV transmission line due to which electricity got affected in more than 30 villages of Uri.
Tehsildar Uri Mohammad Aslam said that traffic movement on the highway has been restored but electricity continues to remain affected. The SDM Uri informed that electricity will be restored by Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, one house damaged partially in Rajarwani Uri, due to shooting stones, three families shifted to other safer places by authorities.
A windstorm hit several areas of northern Kashmir including Uri, Boniyar, Narvaw, Baramulla town, Sangrama, Pattan Tangmarg on Friday afternoon due to which large number of trees were uprooted. The Srinagar-Baramulla road was blocked near Khawajabagh when a giant poplar tree broke down on the road. The thunderstorm accompanied by heavy winds and rain wrecked havoc in the entire region.
In a miraculous escape, passengers travelling in a Sumo cab came under a poplar tree in Khawajabagh area of Baramulla but escaped unhurt. The mishap took place near Government Degree College Baramulla. The passengers were travelling in the vehicle with registration number JK05 8670.
The divisional administration of Kashmir has issued an avalanche warning for hilly and avalanche-prone areas of the valley and Ladakh region. Avalanche warning has been issued for slopes of Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla, Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh districts, an official said.
He said all deputy commissioners have been asked to take precautionary measures in their respective districts and advise people not to venture out in avalanche-prone areas and monitor the situation regularly to avert any untoward incident.