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Heavy rains and thunderstorms forecast in Jammu and Kashmir


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Srinagar, April 20 (IANS) Following the incessant overnight rain, the weather office in Kashmir Valley on Monday issued a warning forecasting heavy rains and thunderstorms during the next 24 hours .

"Moderate to heavy rains would occur at most places in Jammu and Kashmir during the next 24 hours with thunderstorms, gusty winds and hailstorm at some places", Sonam Lotus, director of the Met Office told IANS in summer capital Srinagar.

The minimum temperatures across the Kashmir Valley also dipped because of inclement weather.

The minimum temperature came down to 10 degrees Celsius in Srinagar, 20 degrees in Jammu and 7 degrees in Leh on Monday.

Heavy rainfall is causing serious concern to farmers and orchardists in the state as citizens in Srinagar worry about the weak embankments of the Jhelum river those were breached by the unprecedented floods in September last year and have not been fully reinforced yet.

"The embankment at our area is weak and had been plugged with sandbags after last year’s floods. It has still not been properly restored and reinforced," said Muzaffar, 45, a resident of Shivpora area in Srinagar.

Farmers are worried about the paddy nurseries those can suffer damage due to cold weather. "So much rain brings down the temperature and rice seeds need good temperature to germinate", said Ghulam Ahmad Rather, a farmer in Ganderbal district.

Fruit growers, also, have their concerns due to the present rains.

"Heavy rain in early spring season did not allow proper spraying of orchards as pesticide and fungicide sprays need dry weather for some days. The rain can cause serious damage to this year’s fruit production", said Zaffar, 37, an orchardist in Kashmir’s Sopore town.

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