Snowfall throws life out of gear in Valley

Fresh overnight snowfall threw life out of gear in the Kashmir Valley on Monday, with inclement weather forcing the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway and disrupting air traffic.

While Srinagar and the plains received moderate snowfall, reports of heavy snowfall came in from the upper reaches of the Valley. The local weather office has predicted more rain and snow in the next 24-hours.

The fresh snowfall closed in on the 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road connecting the Valley with the rest of the country.

A traffic police official said heavy snowfall also occurred in the Bannihal sector of the national highway, with authorities temporarily stopping vehicular movement. “If the weather improves, subject to the condition of the road, traffic will be allowed to ply normally on Tuesday,” he said.

Air traffic was also affected on Monday as several flights were cancelled due to bad weather. However, reports said that some flights plied normally after weather improved in the afternoon.

J&K State Disaster Management Authority issued a high-to-medium danger avalanche warning to residents in the hilly areas of the Valley.

“People living in snowbound areas have been requested to take precaution and not venture on steep slopes,” an official spokesperson said, adding that the warning is valid for the next 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the state government ordered the closure of some educational institutions in Kashmir for two days in view of the fresh snowfall. The Kashmir Divisional Commissioner said all primary and middle schools in the state will remain closed on March 10 and 11 on account of the harsh weather.

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