Heavy Snowfall Cuts Off Kashmir Valley

Heavy Snowfall Cuts Off Kashmir Valley

22 January 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)


Srinagar: The Kashmir valley received heavy snowfall today, blocking roads, closing the critical Jammu-Srinagar national highway and grounding air traffic. The snowfall, which began during the night, continued for the most part of the day on Wednesday and threw life out of gear in the region. It caused widespread power cuts. A high-impact western disturbance system passing through the region caused moderate to heavy to very heavy snowfall at various places, Meteorological Department officials said. They said precipitation was likely to decrease from Thursday afternoon onwards. The Jammu-Srinagar national highway was closed as four-foot snow was recorded along the route, an official of the Traffic Department said. An official of the Srinagar airport said all inbound and outgoing flights were cancelled due to bad weather, de-linking the region from the outside world. In Srinagar and in north and south Kashmir, roads were blocked with snow and electricity to many parts was suspended. Many markets, including those in and around the city’s commercial nerve centre Lal Chowk, remained closed due to snowfall and less traffic was seen on slippery roads. The state government said it was monitoring the situation. “People must accept that it is difficult to restore electricity and connectivity while it is still snowing. The situation is being monitored,” Chief Minister Omar Abdullah wrote on social networking site Twitter. The Chief Minister said the administration was working to restore connectivity across all “priority” roads. The state Meteorological Department said heavy snowfall was expected at a few places in the region over the next 12 hours till Thursday morning. A MeT official said Srinagar city recorded one-foot snow till evening today. Gulmarg resort and Pahalgam resort in south Kashmir recorded three-foot snow, the official said. The official said two and a half feet of snow was recorded in the Kokernag area of south Kashmir, while one-foot snow was recorded in Qazigund town and 2.8 cm in north Kashmir’s frontier Kupwara town.