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Snow cuts off Kashmir: Flights Grounded, Highway Closed

Srinagar, Jan 13: Kashmir valley has been cut off from the outside world as all flights to and fro Srinagar airport have been cancelled due to snowfall since morning, officials said. Also Jammu-Srinagar highway, the only surface link connecting Kashmir Valley with the outside world, was closed due to shooting stones and mudslides in Ramban district, officials said.


“All flights for today at our airport have been cancelled due to continuous bad weather,” Srinagar airport said in a tweet. “The passengers of the cancelled flights shall be accommodated by the respective Airlines in the next available flight at no extra cost.”


Meanwhile, a traffic department official here said shooting stones and boulders continue to disrupt traffic on the highway at Mehar Ramban. “Clearance work is underway on the highway. People are advised to undertake journey on highway only after confirming status from traffic control units,” traffic department official said in a tweet. There was also a mudslide near Mehar. When contacted the traffic control unit at around 1600 hours to know the status of the highway, an official there said the highway is closed.


Mughal road, connecting twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri with Shopian, as well as Srinagar-Leh highway have been already closed for this winter.


The Mughal road has been closed for vehicular movement vide District Magistrate Shopian’s order from January 5 in view of snow accumulation.


Also, the Srinagar-Leh highway was closed for vehicular movement vide Divisional Commissioner Ladakh UT’s order (no. 75) on January 6 in view of snow accumulation.


There has been snowfall since morning in Kashmir Valley and parts of Jammu division, affecting normal life.


According to the meteorological department, till 1430 hours, Srinagar received 2 cm, Pahalgam 28cm,


Kokernag 23cm, Qazigund 10 cm, Kupwara 5cm, Bhaderwah 2cm and Batote 2.7cm while Jammu received 5.6 mm of rain and Katra 19 mm of it.


From January 14-18th, a MeT official said, mainly dry weather was expected. “From January 19-20th, a fresh WD (Western Disturbance) is likely to affect J&K and adjoining areas.”


Meanwhile, he said, Srinagar recorded a low of 1.0°C against last night’s minus 0.2°C. Today’s minimum temperature was 3.1°C above normal for the summer capital, he said.


Qazigund, he said, recorded a low of 0.2°C against minus 0.4°C and it was 3.3°C above normal for the gateway town.


Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 2.4°C against minus 1.7°C on the previous night and it was 4.7°C above normal for the place, he said. The coldest night recorded this season in the famous tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district was on January 2 when mercury plunged to minus 9.6°C.


Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.2°C against minus 2.8°C on the previous night, he said. It was 3.4°C above normal for the place.


Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 0.6°C against minus 5.5°C on the previous night, the official said. It was 7.3°C above normal for the world famous skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district that saw its coldest night this season on January 2 when minimum temperature plummeted to minus 10.0°C, the official said.


In Kupwara town, the mercury settled at minus 0.7°C against minus 0.4°C on the previous night and it was 2.2°C above normal in the north Kashmir area, he said.


Jammu, which received 13mm of rainfall in the 24 hours, recorded a low of 7.5°C against 6.6°C on the previous night. It was 0.5°C above normal for J&K’s winter capital, he said.


Banihal received 15.2mm of rain and recorded a low of 0.2°C (above normal by 0.3°C), Batote, had 17mm of rain and recorded a low of 0.8°C (below normal by 2.4°C), Katra received 12.8mm of rain and recorded a low of 76°C (1.7°C above normal) and Bhadarwah received 7.6mm of rain and recorded minimum of minus 0.4°C (0.7°C above normal).


In Ladakh, Leh and Kargil recorded a low of minus 9.4°C and minus 8.6°C respectively, the official said.


Kashmir is under the grip of Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day long harsh winter period that started on December 21. It does not mean an end to the winter either. It is followed by a 20-day-long period called ‘Chillai-Khurd’ that occurs between January 30 and February 19 and a 10-day-long period ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold) which is from February 20 to March 1.





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