Valley Remains Locked In Deep Freeze

SRINAGAR — The Valley of Kashmir  remains locked in the deep freeze, with bitter temperatures stretching into a fourth day.

The cold snap arrived Saturday night  as waves of chilly air swept east from the Arabian Sea, pushing temperatures to several notches below the freezing point and leaving a section of the state well-versed in winter's pains reeling.

A weather official said that spell of cold wave was sweeping the Kashmir valley and Ladakh region and freeze was partly due to clear night skies in the last few days.

Among the coldest temperatures recorded Wednesday was minus 19.4 degrees at Leh, a Met Department official said in Srinagar Wednesday evening.

"The minimum temperature was minus 3.2 degrees Celsius in Srinagar, minus 7.0 degrees in Pahalgam, minus 9.6 degrees in Gulmarg, minus 19.4 degrees in Leh and minus 17.2 degrees in Kargil," said the official.

Forecasters said late Wednesday that overnight temperatures will start rising from Thursday and the day temperatures will fall during this period as light rain and snow in the valley was expected.

Slippery roads, morning frost and frozen water bodies are some of the features of the cold wave. Traffic officials have advised people to drive cautiously on the valley's roads to avoid accidents.

The super specialty bone and joint hospital here has seen a jump in number of patients with fractures and dislocated joints, say doctors.

Cases of high blood pressure, heart ailments and brain haemorrhages also normally increase in the cold-stricken valley due to lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle and shrinking of vessels during the harsh winters, said a senior doctor.

"These afflictions are sometimes fatal for elderly people," the doctor said.

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