Cold intensifies in J&K and Ladakh, traffic disrupted on Jammu-Srinagar national highway

Night temperatures in most parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh continued its downward spiral after the recent snowfall even as traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway was disrupted for several hours due to multiple landslides on Tuesday, officials said.

The icy winds from the snow capped mountains swept both the Union Territories but the early morning sun provided some sort of relief to the people form the frigid conditions in the valley.

Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir, which serves as the base camp for the pilgrims during the annual Amarnath yatra, was the coldest recorded place in the region with a low of minus 12.2 degrees Celsius, an official of the meteorological department said.

He said the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir was freezing at a low of minus 11.0 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature fell by over two notches in Srinagar to settle at minus 3.7 degrees Celsius.

An early morning sun, however, came as a big relief to the people in Srinagar, which witnessed its third snowfall of the season on Friday last.

Leh in Ladakh was the coldest recorded place in the region with a night temperature of minus 12.0 degrees Celsius, the official said.

Though the minimum temperature marked a slight improvement in Jammu to settle at 7.2 degrees Celsius, the icy winds coupled with heavy cloud cover forced people to stay indoors in the morning to escape the chilly conditions.

Bhaderwah in Doda district of Jammu region was the coldest recorded place with a low of minus 3.3 degrees Celsius, while the Katra town, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district, recorded a low of 5.1 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s 6.0 degrees Celsius, the official said.

The 270-km highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, witnessed landslides at Gangroo-Ramsu and Moumpassi in Ramban district overnight, forcing authorities to stop traffic at Qazigund in south Kashmir, a traffic department official said.

However, the traffic, which included security convoys, was allowed to move after agencies managed to clear the road of debris this afternoon, the official said.

The highway was reopened for traffic on Monday after remaining closed for four days due to heavy snowfall in Jawahar Tunnel and adjoining areas and multiple landslides in Ramban sector between Thursday and Saturday.

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