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Landslide forces suspension of vehicular traffic on Sgr-Jmu highway

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Jammu, Jul 31: The Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed for vehicular traffic after a landslide while the Amarnath Yatra was also suspended as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident, officials said.

The intermittent rains triggered a landslide at Morh Passi near Balli Nallah along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in the district, blocking the vital road.

"Heavy rains were hampering the ongoing clearance operation on the 270-km highway," an official said, adding that due to the closure of the highway, the Amarnath Yatra was also suspended from Jammu for the day.

Director of State Meteorological Department Sonam Lotus said a record-breaking rainfall of 342 mm was experienced in Udhampur district since 8 pm on Tuesday.

Katra town, which serves as the base camp for the Vaishno Devi pilgrims in Reasi district, also recorded 292.4 mm rainfall during the same period, Lotus said.

In view of the heavy rains, the movement of pilgrims along the new track to the Vaishno Devi shrine was suspended as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident, a police official said.

However, he said the pilgrims were moving towards the cave shrine through the old route.

The weatherman had issued a 'yellow' warning alert, the least dangerous out of the weather warnings, for the Jammu region till Thursday.

The weather department issues colour-coded warnings to alert the public ahead of severe or hazardous weather which has the potential to cause "damage, widespread disruption or danger to life".

Jammu has recorded 73.4 mm rainfall during the past 24 hours, Lotus said, adding that the minimum temperature marked a dip of 1.3 notches to settle at 24.4 degrees Celsius.

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