Avalanche Warning Issued: Fresh Snowfall Again Cuts-Off Kashmir

Srinagar, Jan 15: The Indian administered Kashmir was again cut-off from rest of the world on Sunday after fresh moderate to heavy snowfall. Both the air and road link to Kashmir were snapped by the fresh snowfall, which was going on. The authorities have issued avalanche warning and urged people living in higher reaches not to venture out.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir, experienced moderate to heavy snowfall since last evening. The snowfall was going on intermittently. The roads, electricity poles, trees and rooftops of the houses were covered under thick white blanket.

The snowfall has again brought life to a standstill as snow from some areas was not removed, thus hampering free movement of vehicles.

Apart from Srinagar, other parts of Kashmir including Gulmarg, Bandipora, Baramulla in North Kashmir and Pahalgam, Islamabad, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian in South Kashmir are experiencing snowfall.

According to the weatherman, Gulmarg experienced two and a half feet of snowfall, Srinagar recorded 4 to 6 inches of snow, Budgam in central Kashmir 6 to 8 inches Ganderbal in North Kashmir 4 to 7 inches, Kupwara in North Kashmir 1 ft, Bandipora in North Kashmir 5 to 9 inches, Pulwama in South Kashmir 2 to 4 inches, Shopian in south Kashmir 4 to 6 inches, Islamabad town in South Kashmir 2 inches, Pahalgam tourist resort in South Kashmir 5 inches and Tral in South Kashmir 5 inches.

He said owing to Western Disturbance, Kashmir will experience moderate to heavy snowfall on January 15 and 16. “The Western Disturbance will start weakening from Monday evening. Till then, snowfall will continue with intermittent breaks. The higher reaches may receive heavy snowfall,” he said.

After the fresh snowfall, authorities have closed 296-kms long Srinagar-Jammu highway, only road link connecting Kashmir with rest of the world. “It was heavily snowing on several parts of the highway. In view of the ongoing snowfall, we have closed the highway and not allowed any vehicle to move on the road either from Srinagar or Jammu,” a traffic police official said.

He said once the snowfall stops and weather improves, efforts would be made to clear snow from the road and make it traffic worthy.

The air traffic to Kashmir was also disrupted by the snowfall. All the flights to and fro from Kashmir were cancelled.

The Disaster Management Kashmir had already warned of moderate to heavy snowfall on January 15 and 16.

Meanwhile, authorities have issued a medium danger avalanche warning for higher reaches of Kashmir. These areas include Khilanmarg, Uri, Chowkibal, Tangdhar, Keran, Machil and Gurez.

People living in the snow bound areas above the height of 7500 feet have been advised not to venture in avalanche prone areas during the next 24 hours.

Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir.