Upper reaches receive fresh snowfall; Mughal Road, Sonamarg-Kargil highway, Kupwara roads remain closed; Avalanche warning issued for Valley districts
Jammu and Kashmir has received “excess rainfall” in a span of one month beginning October 1, according to official data.
According to the Indian meteorological department data, Jammu and Kashmir has been the only State that received excess rainfall from October 1 to November 7, recording 83.5 mm rainfall, instead of normal 47.6 mm, during this period.
Meanwhile, the upper reaches of Kashmir continued to receive fresh snowfall for the second consecutive day Tuesday, even as the local meteorological department predicted further precipitation in the Valley in next 24 hours.
According to local a meteorological department official, the higher reaches of Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla, Shopian and Anantnag districts received fresh snowfall in the last 24 hours, while plains including Srinagar recorded intermittent light rainfall during this period.
The official said that light to moderate rain or snow is expected at most places in Kashmir and scattered places in Jammu and Ladakh regions in next 24 hours.
Following fresh snowfall, the Mughal Road connecting Kashmir with Poonch via southern Shopian district continued to remain closed for the third consecutive day.
Superintendent of traffic police (rural) Muzaffar Ahmad Shah told Greater Kashmir that fresh light rains occurred on the Mughal Road, making its reopening impossible.
Before leaving for their destinations Wednesday, the intending commuters must contact the local traffic control units, he said.
According to officials, the roads connecting Machil and Keran with Kupwara district headquarters have been closed for vehicular movement due to heavy snowfall, but the thoroughfare connecting Tanghdar with the district headquarters is open.
“These roads are avalanche-probe and have been closed as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident,” an official said.
He said decision on re-opening the roads will be taken according to weather conditions Wednesday.
Traffic movement on Bandipora-Gurez road was suspended following fresh snowfall at Razdan Pass on Tuesday morning, an official said.
“Due to the moderate snowfall, the Bandipora-Gurez road has become slippery and to avoid any untoward incident, all types of vehicular movement on the road have been suspended,” he said.
He said that it has been snowing in Dawar, Kanzalwan, Bagtore and Tulail areas of Bandipora since Tuesday morning.
The fresh rains and snowfall have resulted in further decline in temperatures across the Valley, with mercury plunging several degrees below normal, and the Gulmarg resort in northern Baramulla district recording consecutive freezing nights.
Meanwhile, Kargil town was recorded as the coldest place in Jammu and Kashmir at minus 6.2 degrees Celsius.
The summer capital Srinagar recorded a maximum of 8.6 degrees Celsius and minimum of 3.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.
The temperatures recorded elsewhere were: Qazigund (maximum 10.4 degrees Celsius, minimum 5.6 degrees Celsius); Pahalgam (maximum 5.5 degrees Celsius, minimum 1.1 degrees Celsius); Kupwara (maximum 7.2 degrees Celsius, minimum 1.0 degrees Celsius); Kokernag (9.6 degrees Celsius, minimum 2.6 degrees Celsius); Gulmarg (maximum 1.4 degrees Celsius, minimum minus -4.0 degrees Celsius); Leh (maximum 11.3 degrees Celsius, minimum minus 5.0 degrees Celsius) and Kargil (maximum 7.6 degrees Celsius, minimum minus 6.2 degrees Celsius).
Meanwhile, the Sonamarg-Kargil highway remained closed for traffic Tuesday following fresh snowfall in upper reaches including Zojila Pass since Monday afternoon, an official said.
The road was closed on Monday afternoon as a precautionary measure, he said.
“On Wednesday (November 14), subject to fair weather, good road condition and clearance by the road maintenance agency, the movement of LMVs & HMVs will be one-way only, from Minamarg to Sonamarg,” the official said.
An official spokesman said Tuesday that as per a communication of divisional commissioner Kashmir, there is a danger of avalanches from 12 November to 13 November in avalanche-prone areas of Bandipora, Baramulla, Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Kupwara, Ganderbal, Leh and Kargil districts of Kashmir division.
The deputy commissioners of the concerned districts have been asked to advise people not to venture out in avalanche-prone areas during the period, the spokesman said.
(With additional reporting by Irfan Raina, Muzamil Shah and Ejaz-ul-Haq Bhat)