January 2017 News

5 Killed In Avalanches In Kashmir, Valley Cut-off Due To Snow

25 January 2017

New Delhi: An Army Major and four members of a family were among five killed on Wednesday in avalanches and other snow-related incidents in parts of Kashmir even as the Valley remained cut-off from the rest of the country as the traffic movement on Srinagar-Jammu highway was closed due to snowfall. Cold conditions abated a bit in northern states with the lowest minimum temperature recorded in the plains was 7.2 degrees Celsius at Sabaur in Bihar while fog affected rail services as 32 north-bound trains were running late while 17 were rescheduled. An avalanche hit an army camp at Sonamarg in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district, resulting in the death of Major Amit Sagar of High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS). An army official said one soldier had died after getting trapped under the avalanche. In another incident, four members of a family died as their residential house was buried under snow in Gurez sector near Line of Control in north Kashmir's Bandipora district. The house of Habibullah Lone collapsed under the debris of the avalanche resulting in death of 55-year-old Lone, his wife Azizi (50), 22-year-old son Irfan and daughter Gulshan (19). The maximum temperature was recorded at 25.1 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal. The visibility in New Delhi was recorded at 800 mt at 5.30 AM. Three hours later, it dropped to 500 mt. The visibility improved significantly to 1,000 mt at 11.30 AM. The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway in Jammu and Kashmir has been closed for traffic due to snowfall which has rendered the road slippery, an official said. Most of the flights to and from Srinagar International Airport have been been cancelled due to poor visibility while two airlines have put their flights to Srinagar on a stand by. The closure of the road link has resulted in rise in prices of essential commodities like vegetables and food grains. Meanwhile, most parts of Kashmir Division including Ladakh continued to reel under subzero temperatures with Gulmarg in north Kashmir being the coldest recorded place. The minimum temperature in the skiing resort fell to minus 3.4 degrees Celsius. The mercury has failed to breach the freezing point for more than 24 hours there as the maximum temperature yesterday stood at minus 1.4 degrees Celsius. Leh in Ladakh region recorded a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius.