Bhadarwah (J&K) -- Torrential rains since Tuesday evening has triggering landslides forcing the closure of National Highway (NH1B) and other link roads in the Doda-Kishtwar belt in Jammu and Kashmir.
In view of the hostile weather conditions, the district administration has ordered closure of all educational institutions in the area.
Various news agencies have also reported that heavy rainfall and snowfall have led to avalanches in parts of Kashmir. Four of the five soldiers who were reportedly trapped in avalanches in the Batalik area have been rescued, while one is still missing. Two of the rescued soldiers succumbed to their injuries.
Like other parts of the state, the Chenab Valley also experienced heavy rainfall triggering landslides at several places and disrupting the vehicular movement on Batote-Doda-Kishtwar National Highway (NH1B) and Bhadarwah-Doda road.
The 110-Km long Batote-Kishtwar National Highway (NH1B) remained closed at Drabshalla, Premnagar, Raggi Nallah and Dhansal, while Bhadarwah-Doda road at Bhalla area due to massive landslides.
According to reports, the authorities started clearing the debris this morning, but continuous showers with strong winds and shooting stones are hampering the restoration work.
"Passengers and vehicles got stuck at several places as traffic was suspended after the highway and link roads got blocked by landslides triggered due to heavy rains," DySP Traffic NH1B Aftab Bhukhari said.
NDTV reported that the Chandigarh-based Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) had issued avalanche warnings for parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. The SASE is a part of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The warning reportedly said: "A medium-danger avalanche warning is in place in slopes and areas of Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir."
Due to the intense cold wave conditions which swept the entire Chenab region since last 3 days, the district administrations of Doda and Kishtwar was forced to order closure of all educational institutions today.
Greater Kashmir reports that the government has declared floods in the state after the water level at Jhelum crossed the 19 feet danger mark at Ram Munshibagh in Srinagar at 10 pm on Thursday. The reports also said: "Four people lost their lives, two of them, a father and a son, were hit by avalanches in Kargil while a woman was struck by lightening at Rajouri and a minor girl was swept away by flashfloods in Kupwara, officials said."
Several villages in Tral and Bandipora have reportedly been cut off following flooding and heavy rain and snowfall.
"Considering the safety of children as hostility of the weather continues, we have decided to close all the educational institutions for today. We will review the situation later in the day and accordingly a decision will be taken for the coming days," said DCC Doda Bhupinder Kumar.
(With inputs from PTI)