Avalanche warning issued
STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu/Srinagar: Fresh snowfall was on Monday recorded in many areas of Jammu and Kashmir, leading to the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway for vehicular traffic.
The snowfall, however, snapped Kashmir’s links with the rest of the country as the arterial Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed due to the accumulation of snow around Jawahar Tunnel in the Qazigund area.
“Due to slippery road conditions and fresh snowfall at the Jawahar tunnel and other areas, the highway has been closed,” a senior traffic department official said.
The traffic authorities have stopped vehicular movement at the Nagrota check post in Jammu and Qazigun.
The snowfall also led to poor visibility at the Srinagar airport, disrupting the air traffic.
“Current visibility is 600 metres and the runway is not available up to 10.30 am due snowfall. The situation will be reviewed after that,” an official of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) here said.
This is the first major snowfall in Kashmir this winter, which was largely dry so far.
There was some snowfall in early December last year and since then the weather has been mostly dry.
According to the Meteorological (MeT) Department officials, the month of January was the driest in terms of rainfall in Kashmir in the past 38 years.
The snowfall has led traffic snarls on all major roads as continuous snowfall has hampered the efforts of the authorities to clear the snow from roads, officials said.
Meanwhile, Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) has issued high danger avalanche warning for Baramulla, Gulmarg, Kupwara, Chowkibal, Tangdhar, Phurkian, Z Gali, Bandipora, Kanzalwan and Gurez sector in north Kashmir.
It has also warned of medium danger avalanche in Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar, Ganderbal and Kargil.
The SASE also warned of low danger avalanche on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and higher reaches of Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Leh, Reasi and Udhampur Districts.
People living in these areas were advised to avoid these routes and avalanche prone areas.
Air traffic to and fro Kashmir was also suspended today as bad weather forced cancellation of all flights at the Srinagar airport here.
All flights for Monday were cancelled, Director, Airports Authority of India (AAI), Srinagar, Sharad Kumar said.
“Visibility was low and continuous bad weather made flight operations impossible,” he added.
Kashmir valley received the season’s first major snowfall this morning. The snowfall also led to the closure of Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
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