Landslides halt Amarnath yatra as Jammu and Kashmir witnesses heavy rain

Landslides triggered by heavy rain blocked the Jammu-Srinagar national highway stopping the ongoing Amarnath yatra, leaving the convoys carrying pilgrims back to Jammu, stranded in the Ramban district

Photo Courtesy: IANS
Photo Courtesy: IANS

IANS

Landslides triggered by heavy rain on Saturday blocked the Jammu-Srinagar national highway forcing a halt to the ongoing Amarnath yatra.

Landslides occurred on the national highway in the Panthiyal and Digdol areas of Ramban district, but the convoys of Amarnath yatris had already crossed the area.

Officials said the convoys carrying pilgrims back to Jammu after performing the yatra are, however, stranded between Banihal and Ramsoo in Ramban district.

The authorities have suspended the movement of pilgrims from both the Pahalgam and Baltal routes towards the cave shrine due to heavy rain.

"Movement of yatris on Baltal and Pahalgam tracks towards the cave shrine has been stopped. All yatris are camped at safe places. The decision to allow the pilgrims towards the cave shrine would only be taken after the weather improves", officials said.

Landslides also occurred on the Zojila Pass on the Srinagar-Leh national highway on Saturday morning and traffic has also been stopped there according to traffic department officials.

Meanwhile, the Met department issued an alert on Saturday afternoon which said: "Moderate to heavy showers occurred at many places and the same is likely to continue for the next 24 hours including on the yatra routes. Due to intermittent rain since the last few days, soil is saturated and additional rain may trigger landslide, flash flood and mudslides which may lead to closure of highways and local roads.

The Met department has also advised caution during the period, saying: "General public, administration, state disaster relief force and yatra managers are requested to remain cautious for next few days as weather is adverse and likely to remain so during the next 24 hours".

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