Fresh Rains, Snow Lash Kashmir

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SRINAGAR — Amid fresh rains and snowfall in parts of Kashmir, the day temperatures across the Valley decreased with Srinagar recording almost three degrees below the normal for this time of the year.  

A meteorological department official said Srinagar—the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir – recorded a minimum temperature of 1.8 Degrees Celsius last insight and day temperature of 7.9 degrees Celsius against 10.3 degrees Celsius normal for this time of the season.

The official said that Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir saw 3 centimetres of snow overnight and recorded day temperature of 6.3 degrees Celsius while Kokernag town in south Kashmir saw maximum of 4.7 against 8.1 degrees Celsius for this time of the season.

Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of 0.3 degrees Celsius and maximum of 6.7 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir, massed 7 centimetres of fresh snow overnight and recorded a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius and maximum of 1.0 degrees Celsius while the famous health resort of Pahalgam saw 9 centimetres last night and registered a minimum of minus 0.5 degrees Celsius and maximum of 7.2 degree Celsius.

The weatherman has forecast widespread moderate rains and snow at most places in Jammu and Kashmir. 

“There would be fairly widespread light rain/snow/thundershowers/hail over the state,” the weatherman added.  

Highway closed, reopens

Snowfall around the Jawahar Tunnel and landslides triggered by rains at several places near here disrupted traffic for several hours on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway on Wednesday, officials said.

Several landslides struck the strategic 270-km highway overnight at Digdole, Battery Cheshma and Maroog between Banihal and Ramban, blocking the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, they said.

The official said a road-clearance operation was launched immediately and the traffic, which was allowed from Jammu to Srinagar this morning and stopped at Udhampur, was allowed to ply around noon.

A landslide had also occurred at the highway at Digdole around 4 pm on Tuesday and the debris was cleared by 8 pm, they said.

The traffic was stopped around midnight in view of a risk of more landslides, leaving hundreds of Jammu-bound vehicles stranded, they added.

After the highway was reopened, the stranded vehicles were first cleared from the landslide-prone areas, the officials said, adding that the traffic was plying smoothly when last reports were received.

They said fresh snowfall, about six inches, around Jawahar Tunnel — the gateway to the Kashmir Valley — was also cleared.

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