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Rediff.com  » News » Kashmir Valley cut off due to heavy snowfall

Kashmir Valley cut off due to heavy snowfall

November 03, 2018 18:38 IST

Surface and air links between the Kashmir Valley and rest of the country were snapped due to heavy snowfall, officials said.

IMAGE: A scooter moves during season's first snowfall in Srinagar. Photograph: S Irfan/PTI Photo

The season’s first snowfall in Srinagar began on Saturday afternoon and several inches of snow had accumulated in the city.

An official of the India Meteorological Department said this was first time since 2009 that Srinagar city witnessed snowfall in November.

 

“So rare is the occurrence that in the last two decades, it was only the fourth time that it has snowed in Srinagar in November with 2008 and 2004 being the earlier instances,” he said.

IMAGE: The heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of Kashmir triggered avalanches. Photograph: S Irfan/PTI Photo

Reports of heavy snowfall were received from other district headquarters and major towns of the Valley as well, officials said, adding that it continued to snow in the higher reaches of Kashmir for the second day, triggering avalanches at some places.

“Avalanches were triggered in some parts of Gurez in Bandipora district, Men and machinery have been deployed to clear the roads, wherever necessary at the earliest,” they said.

A spokesman of the Traffic Department said the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the arterial road connecting the valley with rest of the country, has been closed for vehicular traffic due to heavy snowfall.

Air traffic to and fro Srinagar international airport was also stopped due to snowfall with several late afternoon and evening flights cancelled, the officials said.

IMAGE: A man rides a bicycle during seasons first snowfall in Srinagar. Photograph: S Irfan/PTI Photo

The snowfall has set in cold wave like conditions in the Valley as electricity supply in many areas was snapped as a precautionary measure, they said, adding that dewatering pumps were made operational in the city to avoid waterlogging.

The snowfall has considerably brought down the maximum temperature in Kashmir. All weather stations across the valley Friday witnessed a drop of around 10 degree Celsius from the normal day temperatures for this time of the year.

The weatherman has forecast more downpour over the next 24 hours but predicted a dry period of two to three weeks from November 5.

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