WATCH: Mountain Collapses Blocking National Highway in India as Heavy Snow, Rain Trigger Landslide
06:50 GMT 08.01.2022 (Updated: 17:48 GMT 15.01.2023)
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a yellow alert in several states in the north of the country due to severe weather conditions caused by incessant rain and heavy snowfall.
A video of a landslide on India’s Jammu-Srinagar National Highway has emerged online, showing a part of a mountain cracking off and collapsing onto the road.
No injuries have been reported so far. Traffic Department officials said incessant rain and heavy snow triggered the landslide.
Over 3,000 vehicles have been stranded on the highway, which is a key route and strategically very important for the supply of essential commodities to the landlocked Kashmir Valley. Closure of the highway often leads to hoarding and black marketing in the valley.
On Friday, Traffic Department officials cleared over 1,000 vehicles from Srinagar to Jammu after incidents of landslides and shooting stones at multiple places in Ramban district were reported.
"It is heavily raining in Udhampur and Ramban districts along the Jammu-Srinagar highway. For the safety of the travellers, no traffic is being allowed this time”, a Traffic Department official told newswire IANS.
While heavy snowfall continues in the Patnitop and Banihal areas of the highway, incessant rains in the north of Himanchal Pradesh state and the Union Territory of Delhi have caused waterlogging, leading to major destruction of property and traffic disruption.
However, non-stop rains have brought some relief to Delhi, as the air quality on Saturday improved from "poor" category to "moderate", with the Air Quality Index (AQI) standing at 132.
According to government agencies, an AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".