Snow, rains lash JK

Highway Shut, 300 Vehicles Stranded; Power Breakdown In North Kashmir

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Feb 5: The overnight change in the weather conditions across Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday forced the government to issue an avalanche warning in the remote areas following snowfall in the higher reaches and rains coupled with snow in plains. The inclement weather triggered shooting stones on the 300-km Srinagar-Jammu highway blocking the road and leaving over 300 vehicles including essential commodities-laden trucks stranded.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Director Meteorological Department, Srinagar, Sonam Lotus said weather has witnessed an abrupt change following the high intensity western disturbances. The world famous ski-resort Gulmarg witnessed 5 inches snowfall while tourist resort of Pahalgam also received 5 inches snow. “Kupwara received 3 inches snowfall. Srinagar witnessed 11 mm rainfall coupled with mild snowfall while Qazigund registered 26.2 mm rainfall,” Lotus said.
He said night temperatures across the Valley dipped with Srinagar recording a low of 1.6 degrees Celsius against the previous night's 2.2 degrees. He said weather is likely to improve from Wednesday afternoon. “Weather would remain dry for at least a week after Wednesday,” the MeT Director said.

HIGHWAY CLOSED:
SSP Srinagar-Jammu Highway (Udhampur-Jawahar Tunnel range), Virender Sharma said incessant rains have triggered major shooting stones at Panthal. “We were left with no option other than to close the highway as shooting stones did not allow the Beacon authorities to clear the road. Shooting stones have been witnessed at many other points as well on the highway,” he said.
Sharma said at least 70 vehicles including trucks were stranded near Ramban while the number of stranded vehicles on the entire highway could be over 300. “Vehicles may be stranded near Qazigund also,” he said. The SSP said traffic may be restored on the highway after all shooting stones are cleared. “Traffic may be restored on February 6 provided weather remains dry,” he said.

AVALANCHE WARNING FOR BORDER AREAS:
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Asgar Samoon, issued avalanche alert for the remote areas that include Machil, Tanghdar, Keran, Kupwara, Bandipora, Gurez, Drass and Kargil. “People residing in snow-bound areas are warned that they should not venture into the avalanche prone areas/slopes and in the nearby forests,” the Divisional Commissioner said in an advisory. It further said that people of avalanche-prone areas are also advised to clear the snow from the roof tops of their houses and other shelters to avoid any loss of life and property due to roof collapse.

POWER BREAKDOWN:
Electricity supply remained snapped in most rural areas of north Kashmir since Monday. Areas where electricity supply is disrupted include Lolab, Kalaroos, Haihama, Kralpora, Farkayan, Ramhal, Rajwar and Mawar.
Chief Engineer PDD (M&RE) Kashmir, Muzaffar Matoo said due to heavy snowfall and windstorm, some lines got snapped in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district while some areas of Baramulla district also witnessed damages to electric poles and lines. “Many areas in Kupwara including Rajwar, Kalaroos, Mawar have witnessed power breakdown. Our men are on the job. In Baramulla district, electricity has been restored to the affected areas while in other areas work is on,” he said. Matoo said Srinagar was safe as there was no serious damage so far.

‘ENOUGH STOCKS AVAILABLE’:
Director Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Mushtaq Mir, said there is no shortage of essential commodities as enough stocks are available in the valley. “We have 350,000 quintals of rice against the requirement of 3,20,000 quintals. Similarly, we have enough quantity of wheat and sugar,” he said. Mir said 250,000 HP LPG cylinders were in the buffer stock. “In addition, we have 63000 LPG cylinders from Bharat Petroleum,” he said.
The CA&PD Director said the enforcement wings of the department are active in the market to ensure implementation of rates fixed for vegetables, poultry and mutton. “Mutton is the area of concern for us as dealers don’t stick to one price,” he said.

DELHI SEES HEAVIEST WINTER RAINFALL IN 6 YEARS
GKNN ADDS FROM NEW DELHI: Delhi received the heaviest rainfall of the winter season since Monday breaking a six-year-old record. The showers due to western disturbance are likely to bring down the temperature, the weatherman said Tuesday.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the capital had 46 mm of rainfall from Monday 8.30 am to Tuesday morning, the highest winter rainfall it received in a day in the past six years.
“The rainfall received was the highest in the winters season since 2007, which had received 40.4 mm,” an official at the Safdarjung meteorological department said.
The overnight rains led to flooding of roads resulting in traffic jams in several areas.
Commuters in the capital and its suburbs had a harrowing time Tuesday with several key roads waterlogged following heavy rains that saw the minimum temperature settling five notches above average at 13.5 degrees Celsius.
The weatherman attributed the rainfall to a western disturbance and forecast more rain and hailstorms later in the day.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST




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