Heavy Snowfall Cuts Off Kashmir
6 January 2008
Times Internet Limited
Srinagar: Kashmir remained cut off from the rest of the world for the second consecutive day on Sunday, as intermittent rain and snow lashed the Valley on Sunday. Flights to and from Srinagar were cancelled, while the only road link to the rest of the country - the Jammu-Srinagar national highway - also remained closed for the second day. 'Fifteen domestic flights were cancelled, while a Haj flight scheduled to arrive from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday was diverted to Delhi due to poor visibility at the Srinagar airport,' spokesperson, divisional commissioner Kashmir, Amir Ali, said. IG (traffic) M Amin Shah said the Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed due to heavy snowfall at Qazigund, Jawahar tunnel and Banihal. Shah said snow clearance machines would be pressed into service, once the weather becomes favourable. 'About 100 vehicles, including some passenger buses, are stranded between Qazigund and Banihal on Jammu-Srinagar national highway. We're trying to take the stranded vehicles to the safer places,' he said. The change in the weather has come as a respite for the people, as it pushed the mercury above the freezing point. 'Ending a spell of below freezing point temperatures, the minimum temperature recorded in Srinagar was 0 degrees Celsius while the maximum stood at 8.2 degrees Celsius on Sunday,' Met office said. Earlier this week, Kashmir experienced the coldest night of the season with temperature dipping to minus 7.4 degrees Celsius. The weatherman said dry weather was the reason for the dip in the temperature. Dal lake, which remained frozen for days, also defreezed on Sunday due to rise in night temperature. Meanwhile, the weatherman has predicted more rain and snowfall during the next 24 hours.