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Massive snowfall cuts off Kashmir from rest of India

Last updated on: January 23, 2014 13:42 IST

Massive snowfall cuts off Kashmir from rest of India

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Kashmir remained cut-off from the rest of the country for the second day on Thursday with road and air links to the Valley snapped due to snowfall, the heaviest in a decade in the month of January.

The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic, while no flights operated from the airport in Srinagar following heavy snowfall on Wednesday. However, there were no reports of fresh snowfall from any part of the Valley during the night.

ALSO READ: White-out in Kashmir Valley, again

Over 900 vehicles are stranded on the 300-km-long highway at various places in Nagrota, Sidhra, Jakhani, Udhampur, Kud, Chenani, Ramban, Banihal and Jawahar tunnel areas, police said.

"Due to the situation and prediction of more snowfall, we did not allow fresh movement of vehicles from both the capital cities of Jammu and Kashmir", officials said.

He said the 294-km arterial highway -- the only road-link between KashmirValley and the rest of the country -- was being cleared of snow and could be made motorable later in the day.

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Photographs: Umar Ganie

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The men and machines of Border Roads Organisation are working to clear the highway, but continuous snowfall is hampering the operation, they said.

Roads between Jammu and various places, including Doda, Kishtwar districts, besides inter-districts road and also Mughal road connecting Shopian district of south Kashmir with Poonch district of Jammu division, also remained closed.

No flights to and fro SrinagarAirport operated on Wednesday due to continuous snowfall. However, there are chances of the airport being made operational in the afternoon.

"No flight to and fro Srinagar Airport operated in the morning. But there is a possibility of flights operating in the afternoon," an official of the Airport Authority of India said.

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Photographs: Umar Ganie

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Massive snowfall cuts off Kashmir from rest of India

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The Valley received a fresh spell of snowfall on Wednesday, which was the heaviest in the month of January in the last 10 years.

The snowfall had resulted in slightly improving the minimum temperatures, which brought a much-needed respite to the residents from the intense cold.

However, the mercury dropped across the Valley and Ladakh region on Wednesday night, with Srinagar recording a low of 0.1 degree Celsius as against 0.2 degree Celsius the previous night, an official of the MET Department here said.

South Kashmir towns of Qazigund and Kokernag recorded the minimum temperatures of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius and minus 5.0 degrees Celsius, respectively.

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Photographs: Umar Ganie

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The mercury in the tourist resort of Pahalgam, also in south Kashmir, plummeted by over nine degrees from the previous night's low of minus 1.0 degrees Celsius, to settle at a minimum of minus 10.3 degrees Celsius last night.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg registered a low of minus 7.6 degrees Celsius as against minus 3.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.

Kupwara, in north Kashmir, recorded a low of 0.3 degree Celsius, she said.

She said Leh, in the frontier region of Ladakh, recorded a low of minus 7.1 degrees Celsius compared to minus 5.2 degrees the previous night.

The MET Department has said light to moderate rains or snowfall could occur at few places in the state over the next 24 hours, however, there would be decrease in precipitation over the next few days. 

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Photographs: Umar Ganie

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