Highway closed, flights cancelled, avalanche warning issued, weather to improve from Sunday
For the second consecutive day on Saturday, most parts of Kashmir received intermittent snowfall leading to closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway and cancellation of flights from the Srinagar International airport.
The authorities issued avalanche warning for next 24 hours and the Meteorological department has predicted improvement in weather from Sunday.
MeT officials here said that Srinagar recorded 3.6 mm snow/rain, Qazigund 3.6 cm snow, Phalgam 10 cm, Kupwara 5 cm, Kokernag 2.5 cm and Gulmarg 25 cm.
Due to snowfall, the air traffic at the Srinagar International Airport was disrupted on Saturday. “Due to the snowfall since early Saturday morning and the poor visibility, some flights could not operate at the Srinagar airport,” airport officials said here.
Director MeT department, Sonam Lotus said visibility is likely to remain poor for the next 24 hours. “However, there will be overall improvement in the weather from 13 Jan,” he said.
Traffic on the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir with the rest of the world, was again suspended on Saturday due to heavy snowfall on both sides of the Jawahar tunnel.
“The road is closed for traffic,” inspector general of police, traffic, Alok Kumar told Greater Kashmir.
“In case the road was re-opened on Sunday, priority will be given to vehicles stranded on the highway.”
One-way traffic on the highway was resumed on Friday after its closure on Thursday night due to snowfall. Over 500 Kashmir-bound vehicles, including trucks carrying essentials and oil tankers got stranded at Ramban, Ramsu, Chanderkot and other places.
An official spokesman said that a fresh avalanche warning has been issued in Kashmir division including Ladakh.
He said in view of the inclement weather and snow prediction, the divisional administration Kashmir, issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche prone areas in district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal in Kashmir and Kargil and Leh in Ladakh region.
Divisional commissioner Kashmir has directed the deputy commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out as it could risk their life.
Due to the fresh precipitation, the minimum temperatures have started to rise, Met officials said.
They said that the minimum temperature at Srinagar settled at minus 0.8 degrees Celsius on Friday night–slightly up from the previous night’s low of minus 1 degree Celsius.
MeT officials said Qazigund–in south Kashmir also recorded a low of minus 0.8 degree Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius last night.
The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of 0.2 degree Celsius, the official said, adding that Kupwara was the only place in Kashmir where the night temperature settled above the freezing point.
They said Gulmarg ski-resort in Baramulla district of north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6 degrees Celsius last night, while Pahalgam tourist resort registered a low of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius.
The official said Leh recorded a low of minus 11.9 degrees Celsius last night, while the mercury in Drass settled at a low of minus 10.3 degrees Celsius and Kargil experienced the minimum of minus 16.8 degrees Celsius.
Kargil was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir.
SDM KANGAN ISSUES ADVISORY
Public movement was largely affected due to accumulation of snow in Kangan area of Ganderbal district on Saturday.
Kangan town on Saturday received eight inch deep fresh snowfall while as it was around 15 inch deep in Gund tehsil.
Authorities pressed men and machinery in service to clear the snow from the main and the link roads.
Officials said the snow was cleared from Srinagar-Leh highway up to Gagangeer and from almost all the link roads in the district and the electricity was restored.
Meanwhile, SDM KanganMehraj u din Shah issued an advisory to general public in view of snowfall and slippery road conditions in several areas of the district.
“All vehicles plying on Kangan-Sonamarg and Kangan to WangthNarnanagh, Kachnambal and Chahtergul areas should use anti skid chains tied on tyres, besides 4×4 vehicles should only be preferred for travel,” reads the advisory.
He advised the people not to venture out in the higher and avalanche prone areas of the sub division.
The administration has asked people to contact following numbers in case of any emergency:
SDPO Kangan- 9419105858
AEE PDD- 9596408454, 9622525179
AEE R&B- 9906536000
GUREZ VALLEY, RAZDAN PASS RECEIVE MODERATE SNOWFALL
Fresh snowfall was witnessed in several areas including plains and upper reaches of Bandipora district on Saturday.
Plains witnessed light snowfall while as the upper reaches including Gurez valley and Razdan Pass witnessed moderate snowfall since morning.
An official said that Dawar, Baktore and Tulail areas of Gurez recorded around 8 inch deep fresh snowfall while 2-3 inch deep snow was recorded in plains of Bandipora.
He said that main roads including Srinagar-Bandipora and Sopore-Bandipora roads were cleared of snow as machines were deployed early morning.
He said the link roads of Bandipora and Sumbal town were also cleared while the electricity was restored in the afternoon.
FRESH SNOWFALL IN RAJOURI, POONCH
Normal life was thrown out of gear in both Rajouri and Poonch districts by the fresh snowfall leading to sharp decline in the temperature.
As per details with Greater Kashmir, there was fresh snowfall in all the higher reaches of Rajouri and Poonch districts. Besides, it also snowed in the townships of Kotranka, Budhal in Rajouri district, Thanamandi and Darhal towns, Saujiyan and Loran village in Poonch district and Mandi town.
Due to snowfall, PoonchMandi to Loran, PoonchMandi to Saujiyan as well as Surankote-DKG-Thanamandi roads remained closed for traffic.
Power supply remained affected in some areas of Rajouri and Poonch.
ELECTRICITY, WATER SERVICE DISRUPTED IN REASI AREAS
Gulabgarh area forming the upper reaches of Reasi district received fresh snowfall on Saturday.
Due to snowfall, many areas complained electricity failure since morning.
Heavy snow was received at Bagodass, Manjikote, Shergari, Bagankote, Shabrass, Badder, Nihoch, Barmidar, Dogga, Dewal, Kaidoora, Baransal, Lar, and several other areas.
The road of Mahore to Gool remained closed at Dagantop. Similarly the road of Mahore to Gulabgarh was also closed from Tukson to Gulabgarh due to snowfall.
Meanwhile the water supply in the area was also disrupted due to snowfall.
(With inputs from Sheikh Nazir, ZAHID MALIK, SumitBhargav )