Kashmir areas experience fresh snowfall; Highway open for 1-way traffic, Met predicts wet weather for 3 days
Snow started to lash parts of Jammu and Kashmir, including the summer capital Srinagar, on Thursday evening, even as the local meteorological department has predicted that the precipitation is likely to continue for next three days and may disrupt the surface and air traffic.
Apart from Srinagar, fresh snowfall started in the Jawahar Tunnel area on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, though officials maintained that the road was open for one-way traffic.
Earlier, a weather advisory issued by director meteorological department Sonam Lotus said: “As expected snowfall is most likely to commence from evening of 10 January in north-west Kashmir and likely to increase in intensity and distribution at most places of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh, especially the Kargil district, with main activity on 11-12 January. Higher reaches of Kashmir and Pir Panjal range may receive heavy snowfall”.
“This may lead to temporary disruption of surface and air transportation (mainly on 12 January,” Lotus said.
The divisional administration Kashmir said it was ready meet any eventuality and has directed the deputy commissioners of Kashmir division to activate their control rooms and ensure that the snow clearance equipment is placed at proper places for snow clearance in respect of their districts as per the snow clearance plan.
People living in avalanche-prone areas have been asked not to venture in avalanche-prone areas during the inclement weather period, an official said.
Meanwhile, a high-danger avalanche warning was issued for higher reaches of Baramulla and Kupwara districts, a medium-danger warning for Bandipora and Ganderbal districts and a low-danger warning for Anantnag, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri, Kargil and Leh areas for next 24 hours.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway is open for one-way traffic, an official said, adding that the traffic plied from Jammu to Srinagar on Thursday and would ply from Srinagar towards Jammu (one-way for both LMVs/HMVs) on Friday, subject to fair weather and good condition of road.
In view of bad weather prediction, the intending highway travelers must contact traffic control units on Friday before leaving for their destinations, the official said.
A Met official said that despite cloudy sky, the cold conditions continued in Kashmir as the mercury settled below the freezing point at most places.
Srinagar recorded a minimum of minus 0.3 degree Celsius, against the previous night’s low of minus 3 degree Celsius, the official said.
He said Qazigund—the gateway town to the Valley in southern Kashmir—recorded a low of zero degree Celsius, up from the previous night’s minus 2.6 degree Celsius.
The Kokernag town, also in southern Kashmir, registered a low of minus one degree Celsius, while the mercury in northern Kupwara town settled at a low of minus 3.2 degree Celsius.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in northern Kashmir recorded a low of minus 8.5 degree Celsius, up from minus 10 degree Celsius recorded the previous night, the official said.
The tourist resort of Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 11.4 degree Celsius, down six notches from minus five degree Celsius the previous night.
The official said Leh recorded a low of minus 15 degree Celsius, while the mercury in the nearby Kargil settled at a low of minus 18.2 degree Celsius. Kargil was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir.
EARTHQUAKE IN LEH:
Meanwhile, an earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter Scale rocked Ladakh region on Thursday morning, forcing people to rush out of their homes despite minus 15 degree Celsius temperature.
A Met official said here that the tremor occurred at 0822 hrs and had its epicenter at 34 degrees North-Latitude and 78.4 East-Longitude with the depth of 10-km.
The state administrative council has sanctioned Rs 87 crore for removing hurdles in the way of building two All India Institutes of Medical Sciences in Jammu and Kashmir.
The strategic Srinagar-Jammu highway was closed of traffic on Friday due to accumulation of snow at Jawahar Tunnel, officials said.
Government of India’s move to push through Parliament a bill for reservation to economically weak upper caste segment of the population has brought the focus back on a similar piece of legislation cleared by the J&K legislature in 2017.
Source: Greater KashmirBack