Fresh Snowfall Blankets Valley, Met Dept Issues Avalanche Warning

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Highway Closed For 2nd Day, More Snow, Rains Forecast Mid-Week

SRINAGAR: The Kashmir Valley woke up to a blanket of white on Saturday after overnight snowfall, and remained cut off for the second day by deep snow and multiple landslides on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

The meteorological centre said that the weather would hold for the next two days, but forecast more rain and snow by coming Wednesday.

Around 1400 passenger and goods carriers are held up on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway on the Ramban-Jawahar Tunnel stretch, the deputy inspector general (DIG) of the traffic police, Shakeel Ahmad Beg, said.

Land and rock slides have blocked the highway at least at six places, he said.

Beacon personnel maintaining the Valley’s sole supply line were battling deep snow on both sides of the Tunnel to clear it for vehicular traffic, he said.

Bad-weather conditions have slowed down men and machines engaged in ploughing through landslides, and the Beacon would make better progress if the rains lifted, authorities.said.

The fresh snowfall has foiled authorities’ plans to clear vehicles stuck on the route due to heavy rains yesterday.

In the Valley’s plains, many roads and streets are inundated with slush and water.

Streets in several Srinagar areas are ankle deep in water, exposing once again the city’s faulty planning.

The change in weather since Friday night has dumped around 2 feet of snow in Sonarmarg, and nearly 2.5 feet in the south Kashmir areas of Aharbal, Halan-Manzgam, Panzimarg, and Bandi Jalan, while Wahnev, Kandimarg and Dumhal Hanjirpora were under a one-foot deep layer of white.

The city of Srinagar received 30.1 mm of precipitation since last evening, the weather bureau said.  

The Meteorological Department on Saturday announced an avalanche warning after fresh and heavy spell of snow since last two days covered the entire Kashmir valley.

Sonam Lotus, director of the Kashmir meteorological department, said due to the persistent heavy snowfall in the valley there is likely to be threat of avalanche in the region and suggested the tourists and the locals not to visit the snow bound areas for next couple of days.

 

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