Untimely rains, storms take north India by surprise

People in parts of north India were taken by surprise on Friday as dust storm and thunder showers lashed several parts of the region, while three army men were killed in a landslide triggered by heavy rains in Jammu and Kashmir.

New Delhi: People in parts of north India
were taken by surprise on Friday as dust storm and thunder showers
lashed several parts of the region, while three army men were
killed in a landslide triggered by heavy rains in Jammu and
Kashmir.

Hailstorms and rains disrupted normal life in several
places in Punjab while temperature dropped sharply by four
degrees in the state and adjoining Haryana, Met officials
said.
Chandigarh and its surrounding areas were engulfed by
dark clouds in the afternoon, forcing motorists and people to
switch on the lights.

The untimely rains accompanied by hailstorm raised
concerns of damaging standing paddy crop in Punjab, which may
ultimately hit the state`s share into the central pool.

"Over 50 per cent of paddy crop (including basmati and
non-basmati) in Punjab is yet to be harvested and rains at
this stage will certainly affect crop yield," state
Agriculture Director B S Sidhu said.

Dust storm and rains also hit the national capital,
throwing traffic out of gear due to waterlogging and fallen
trees in some areas. The city received six mm of showers in
less than an hour till 5:30 pm while the maximum and minimum
were recorded at 33.5 and 21.8 degrees Celsius respectively.
The weatherman attributed the sudden change in weather
conditions to `western disturbance` which is also active over
Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

In Jammu and Kashmir, three army personnel who had laid
an ambush near the LoC to check infiltration were killed in a
landslide triggered by heavy rains in Uri sector of Baramulla
district. A captain and two jawans were buried under the
landslide while about 20 other personnel escaped unhurt, the
sources said.

Meanwhile, the higher reaches of Kashmir received the
first snowfall of the season today while the rest of the
Valley was lashed by heavy rains leading to a drop in
temperatures.

"It is snowing in Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Anantnag, Kulgam,
Shopian and Qazigund areas of the Valley. In Gulmarg, three
inches of snow have accumulated since morning," a weather
department official said.

It was also snowing at Zojilla and Gumri on the
Srinagar-Leh National highway, forcing the authorities to
stop the movement of vehicles to Ladakh region as a
precautionary measure.

PTI

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