Heavy snowfall cuts off Kashmir from rest of country

Houseboats covered by snow are seen along the banks of Jehlum river during a snowfall in Srinagar on January 4, 2019. (AFP Photo)

Kashmir was cut off from the rest of the country on Saturday as both surface as well as aerial connectivity to the valley was disrupted due to heavy snowfall which threw life out of gear here.

Most places in Kashmir, including plains of the valley, received moderate to heavy snowfall overnight, officials of the MeT Department said.

The snowfall, which began in the late afternoon on Friday, continued in most parts of the valley this morning, they said, adding it is one of the heaviest snowfalls in the recent years in the plains of Kashmir.

Srinagar recorded 10 inches of snowfall till 8:30 in the morning and the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded two feet of fresh snow. While Qazigund recorded 11 inches, Kokernag three inches, Pahalgam 16 inches and Kupwara 17 inches of snow, the officials said.

The higher reaches of the valley received heavy snowfall which has led to closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and other road links, a spokesman of the Traffic Control Room here said.

He said Mughal Road, Srinagar-Leh National Highway and Bandipora-Gurez road were also closed for traffic.

 

The snowfall also disrupted the air traffic to and from Srinagar international airport.

An official of the airport said the flight which lands at the airport at 9 am was cancelled due to poor visibility because of the snowfall.

"So far, no air traffic has been possible at the Srinagar airport," he said.

He said the decision to operate other flights will be taken by the airliners and the air traffic control if there is any improvement in the conditions.

The snowfall has also disrupted normal life and affected the movement of people and transport in Srinagar city and other districts of the valley.

However, road clearance operations have been undertaken by the respective district administrations across the valley since the morning.

Most areas of have valley have been without electricity since last night, the officials said.

Owing to the snowfall, the night temperature in the valley rose last night providing relief to the residents from the intense cold conditions.

The mercury in Srinagar city, which had recorded a low of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius on the previous night, settled at a low of minus 1.3 degrees Celsius Friday night.

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