SRINAGAR: Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday issued an avalanche warning in higher reaches of the state with weatherman predicting moderate to heavy snowfall during the next three days, beginning Sunday.
Sonum Lotus, Director Met Office, Srinagar said there are predictions of moderate to heavy snowfall from Monday night.
"From tomorrow (Monday) evening till the morning of February 3, moderate rains or snow would occur in plains of Kashmir while there are chances of moderate to heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of the Valley," he said.
In view of the prediction, the deputy commissioners of north and south Kashmir districts advised people living above 2,500 meters altitude to exercise restraint and avoid avalanche prone areas especially in Tangdhar, Machil and Keran along the Line of Control.
"The people are advised not to venture in avalanche prone areas from February 1 to 3, besides keep cleaning the snow deposition from roof tops of the houses and bunkers to avoid any untoward incident during the snowfall," an official spokesman said.
He said people are also advised to temporarily evacuate those locations which are under the line of avalanche. The Deputy Commissioners also directed the concerned officers to be in readiness and to activate their manpower and machinery to ensure that there is no disruption of essential services like power, water and health care, he said.
In another advisory, the traffic police has asked the people to contact the Control Rooms in Jammu and Srinagar before proceeding for travel on the 294-km arterial road connecting the Kashmir Valley with rest of the country.
"As per advisory issued by the traffic police, people in general and passengers and drivers in particular are advised not to start their journey on the national highway from Jammu to Srinagar and vice versa without confirming the road or weather status from Traffic Control Rooms at Ramban, Jammu and Srinagar.''
"This advisory has been issued on the basis of weather reports which predict moderate to heavy snowfall especially in Banihal to Jawahar Tunnel sector and Jawahar Tunnel to Qazigund sector from February 1 to February 3.''
"Besides, heavy to moderate rainfall in Ramban area, which may trigger landslides on national highway between Ramban-Ramsoo sector," an official spokesman said.
Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Kumar Raju Ranjan issued the weather warning as the weather is likely to deteriorate from February 01 to 03 in avalanche-prone areas.
Rajan, who is also chairman district disaster management authority has advised the people not to venture in avalanche-prone areas during the period, besides keep cleaning the snow deposition from roof tops of the houses and bankers to avoid any untoward incident during the snowfall.
People are also advised not to occupy and temporarily evacuate those locations which are under the line of avalanche.
Meanwhile, in view of the possibility of snowfall, Deputy Commissioner in Baramulla has directed all the concerned officers to be in readiness and to activate their manpower and machinery and ensure that there is no disruption of essential services, power supply, water supply, health care services etc. in the district. Moreover, the concerned officers have also been impressed upon to establish Control Rooms and the Phone Numbers must be notified for the general public.
Meanwhile, as per the prediction of Meteorological department for deteriorate weather from February 01 to 3rd February 2015 and keeping in view snowfall on this behalf.
The Additional Deputy Commissioner Pulwama has also advised the people of district not to venture in avalanche prone areas during the snowfall.
CHILLAI KALAN ENDS
The 40-day period of harshest winter, known as "Chillai-Kalan", ended on Saturday as Kashmir Valley witnessed the driest winter in the last three decades with the lowest ever precipitation in January.
"This was one of the driest winters in the last three decades. It was in 1986 that the Valley witnessed such dry winter," Director MeT office, Sonam Lotus told PTI.
"The previous lowest precipitation was in January 2007 when it was 7mm but this January it was recorded at only 4mm. The normal for the period is 50mm, so we can say that the weather was almost dry this winter," the director said.
He said though there were Western Disturbances which result in higher precipitation, the frequency of strong ones was rare.
"The frequency of strong WDs was very rare. This has happened only three times - in 1986, 2007 and this year - in the last three decades," he said.
As the weather remained dry, the minimum temperatures continued to hover below the freezing point with Srinagar recording a low of minus 2.9 degree Celsius, slightly up from the yesterday's minus 3.5 degrees.
Kargil in Ladakh region was the coldest recorded place in the state as the night temperature settled at minus 16.6 degree Celsius.
Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 6.8 degrees.
Gulmarg registered an increase of over a degree from minus 9.6 degree Celsius to settle at minus 8.0 degrees.
"Chillai-Kalan" began on December 21 and will now be followed by a 20-day long "Chillai Khurd" (small cold) and a 10-day long "Chillai Bachha" (baby cold).
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