Gusty winds ravage J-K, damaging hundreds of homes

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SRINAGAR — Around 300 houses were damaged partially or completely during the gusty winds accompanied by heavy rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday while several higher reaches including the famous ski resort, Gulmarg, Sonamarg and other places continued to receive fresh snowfall for the second straight day.

The top officials in Ramban, Kulgam and Anantnag districts informed the news agency KNO that as many as 300 houses were damaged in the gusty winds accompanied by the heavy rainfall today.

Deputy Commissioner, Ramban, Baseer-ul-Haq said that 100 houses were damaged due to windstorms and heavy rainfall in Ramban Gool and Banihal areas.

The officials in Kulgam district also stated that 119 houses were damaged in four Tehsils of the districts including 95 in Tehsil DH Pora, six in Devsar, and nine each in Kulgam and Pahaloo Tehsils.

In the Verinag area, 42 structures were damaged due to gusty winds while 47 were damaged in Dooru Tehsil and around 15 in Qazigund Tehsil.

Deputy Commissioner, Kulgam, Athar Aamir Khan, when contacted, said that the affected families have been shifted to safer places and measures like relief have been disbursed among them. “The field functionaries are on the job to assess the complete damage,” he said.

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Moreover, the three-day wet spell predicted by the local Meteorological department here has brought more snowfall at several places in Kashmir, which include Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Sinthan Top, Sadhna Pass, Doodhpathri and others.

However, moderate rainfall continued to lash the plains including the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir, Srinagar.

Director of Meteorological Department (MeT), Dr Mukhtar Ahmad said that there is a possibility of gradual improvement in prevalent weather conditions from late tonight. “There is no forecast of any significant weather activity thereafter till March 10 with the possibility of light rain, snow at scattered places during the night of March 6 to March 7,” he said.

This evening, the MeT has stated that moderate rain with intense showers accompanied by gusty winds is expected over Srinagar, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Pulwama, Anantnag and Kulgam during the next 2-3 hours from now.

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It also stated that moderate rain with intense showers accompanied by gusty winds, thunderstorms, lightning, and hailstorms are expected over Jammu, RS Pura, Nagrota, Reasi, Samba, Akhnoor and parts of Udhampur district during the next 2-3 hours.

It is pertinent to mention here that both the forecasts were issued by the MeT at 07:30 PM.

Given heavy to very heavy snowfall over a few middle and higher reaches, travellers and tourists are advised to plan accordingly and follow administration as well as traffic police advisory, the MeT said.

“General public over hilly areas are advised not to venture in avalanche prone areas & slopy areas. Follow avalanche warnings & advisories,” it said, adding that there are chances of landslides, mudslides and shooting stones at a few places.

Farmers are advised to suspend farm operations till March 3, the advisory reads.

Moreover, all the major roads including the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, Bandipora-Gurez Road, Srinagar-Leh Highway and others are closed for vehicular movement due to precautionary measures.

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