The Army rescued over 300 people stranded at different spots in Ramban and Udhampur districts on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway which got blocked due to massive landslides triggered by heavy rain and snowfall on higher reaches.
Vehicles stuck in Battery Chashma area of Ramban district in Jammu on Wednesday.
The highway was blocked at multiple locations, including Karol, Mehar, Cafeteria Morh, Seri, Battery Chashma, T2, Digdole, Panthyal, Romparhi and Rattanbass. The Gool-Ramban road was also blocked due to a landslide. The administration called Army personnel as hundreds of people were stranded at different places. Shooting stones in Ramban did not allow restoration work throughout the day.
The Army’s Northern Command informed in a tweet that among the 300 rescued civilians, 100 were women and children. Between Dalwas south of Chenani Tunnel and Banihal, at least 400 vehicles were stuck, said Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand, Army PRO, Jammu. The Army also provided food to the rescued people. According to some reports, over 1,000 vehicles were stranded at various places along the highway.
A section of the Jammu-Srinagar highway was washed away after heavy rains triggered flash floods. Educational institutions had to be shut owing to road conditions in many district of J&K. Over 25 incidents of landslide were reported in different parts of the Jammu division, especially in Ramban district.
Mughal Road, which connects Rajouri and Poonch districts with the Valley, was also shut due to landslides.
A landslide near Deval bridge at Samroli in Udhampur washed away a major part of the highway. Officials said it could take days to restore the road completely. A high alert has been sounded in Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts. A police spokesperson advised people not to venture near Chenab river and other nullahs witnessing unusual water flow.
Ramban Deputy Commissioner Mussarat Islam said Khari tehsil had been cut off after a road caved in due to heavy rain. The administration served food to the stranded people at a community hall in Ramban. Ramban ADC Harbans Sharma said roads at 20 locations were cleared in the district till evening.
The weatherman said the weather was improving, but flash flood and landslide in low-lying areas were likely.
Meanwhile, One person died and four others were injured Wednesday when they were struck by lightning in Udhampur district, officials said.
The lightning hit a remote village in the Dudu-Basantgarh belt, resulting in the on-the-spot death of one person and injuries to four others, the officials said.
They said the divisional administration sought the help of Indian Air Force (IAF) authorities for airlifting the injured by a helicopter. A Police team also traversed a long distance to reach the victims and provided assistance before they were evacuated to the hospital by IAF, the officials said.