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Minor boy killed; Amarnath yatra suspended as heavy rains lash Jammu


Press Trust of India Jammu
An eight-year-old boy was killed and a teenage girl severely injured on Wednesday in two separate incidents of house collapse after heavy showers lashed Jammu region.
The rains triggered multiple landslides, disrupting traffic for several hours on the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway, forced suspension of the ongoing Amarnath yatra from Jammu and closure of the new track to the famous Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, officials said.
Director of State Meteorological Department Sonam Lotus said a record-breaking rainfall of 342 mm was experienced in Udhampur district since late Tuesday, while Katra town, which serves as the base camp for the Vaishno Devi pilgrims in Reasi district, recorded 292.4 mm rainfall during the same period.
The minor boy, Pawan Kumar, died while 13-year-old Sunita was injured when their mud houses collapsed in Loundna-Jogeena village in Udhampur district in the early hours of Wednesday.
The overnight rains also triggered a landslide at Morh Passi near Balli Nallah and a mudslide at Khari in Udhampur and at a few places in nearby Ramban district including Panthiyal and Mehar.
Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) said the Amarnath yatra will remain suspended till August 4 as the IMD has forecast heavy rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir in the next few days.
"In view of inclement weather conditions, shooting of stones and landslides particularly in Jammu region, the yatra will remain suspended till August 4, 2019," a SASB spokesperson said.
A police official said the movement of pilgrims along the new track to the Vaishno Devi shrine was also suspended as a precautionary measure for the day to avoid any untoward incident in view of the lurking threat of mudslides and rolling down of stones from the hillock.
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".
The officials said the heavy rainfall has increased the water level in water bodies across Jammu region including the Tawi river but there was no immediate threat of floods.
Jammu city has recorded 74.0 mm rainfall since Tuesday evening, a spokesperson of the Met department said, adding the day temperature in the winter capital was 4.6 notches below season's average at 29.0 degrees Celsius, while the night temperature settled at 24.4 degrees Celsius.
Srinagar was warmer than Jammu at a high of 30.8 degrees Celsius and a low of 21.6 degrees Celsius.
The mercury in Ladakh region continued its upward trend with Leh recording a maximum of 31.9 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 19.3 degrees Celsius.
Kargil town recorded a high of 31.3 degrees Celsius and a low of 13.3 degrees Celsius, the spokesperson said.

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First Published: Jul 31 2019 | 7:55 PM IST

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