January 2008 News

Heavy Snowfall Kills One, Disrupts Life In Kashmir

16 January 2008
News Post India

Srinagar: One person was killed in a house collapse as heavy snowfall across the Kashmir valley forced closure of the strategic Jammu-Srinagar highway Thursday. 'One person has died and two others were injured in a house collapse in Koil village of south Kashmir's Pulwama district due to heavy snowfall today (Thursday),' a senior police officer said here. Weather authorities have forecast more rain and snow till Saturday. 'We have issued a general warning regarding heavy snowfall at many places in the valley during the next 48 hours (starting Thursday morning),' T.K. Jotshi, assistant director of the weather office, told IANS. Snow and extremely slippery conditions in the Jawahar tunnel area of the 300-km Jammu-Srinagar highway forced authorities to suspend traffic. 'Inclement weather conditions have triggered landslides at Panthiyal area on the highway, which is presently closed for all sorts of vehicular movement,' a senior traffic official told IANS here. 'We shall review the situation once the weather improves.' Reports from higher reaches of Kashmir indicated heavy snowfall at Sonamarg, Gulmarg and Pahalgam hill resorts while moderate snowfall continued for the second day in the lower parts of the valley. Authorities have set up disaster management control rooms at all the district headquarters in the valley. 'We are fully geared up to meet any eventuality due to the expected heavy snowfall at some places,' said Mehboob Iqbal, Kashmir's divisional commissioner. Poor visibility at Srinagar airport has hampered flight operations for the second day Thursday. 'The visibility at the airport at 11.30 am is just 800 metres while the minimum required visibility for flight operations is 2.2 km,' said an airport official.

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