SRINAGAR: Fresh snowfall Saturday forced the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway and led to disruption of air traffic on Saturday.
Around two feet of fresh snow fell in the Jawahar Tunnel area in the Bannihal sector of the highway at night, a traffic officer said.
Snowfall also occurred at night in the higher reaches of the Kashmir Valley while rain lashed the plains.
The Gulmarg ski resort recorded 18 inches of snow while Sonamarg received 20 inches and Shopian town 12 inches.
An official said that snowfall was continuing in the border towns of Gurez, Machil, Tangdhar and Keran.
The Met Office has forecast improved weather.
"The weather will start improving from (Saturday) afternoon", Sonam Lotus, director of the Met Office here, was quoted as saying.
However authorities sounded a fresh alert for the people living in avalanche prone areas of the Valley asking them not to venture out.
In view of fresh snowfall in higher reaches of Valley, a medium danger avalanche warning has been issued for Tangdhar, Chowkibal, Keran, Machil, Gurez, Tulail, Sonamarg, Drass and higher reaches of Uri and Gulmarg for the next 24 hours. People living in these areas have been advised to take precautions and not to venture in avalanche-prone areas.
In view of poor visibility, civil flights got delayed at Srinagar airport, but later civil flights operated with a few cancellations. Two flights of Spice jet, one flight each of Go Air, Jet Airways and Army chartered plane got cancelled.
Subject to weather, Govt. has made arrangement of IL-76 air force flight between Leh-Jammu-Leh on 30th December, for stranded passengers of Kargil. The passengers have been requested to contact the concerned Liaison Officers.
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