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Kashmir witnesses record snowfall, 11-feet snow depth in avalanche-hit Gurez

A Meteorological department official said it was the heaviest snowfall recorded in the valley since 1992.

Published: 27th January 2017 08:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th January 2017 08:59 PM   |  A+A-

File picture of vehicles moving towards Jammu-Srinagar highway closed due to heavy snowfall in Kashmir valley. (PTI)

By Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The snowfall in Kashmir in last few days has broken the record of over two decades.

A Meteorological department official said Kashmir has recorded heavy snowfall this year.

He said it was the heaviest snowfall recorded in the valley since 1992.

 “We had witnessed major snowfall in 1992 and 2006 but the present snowfall has broken the record of last 25 years,” the official said.

The upper reaches of the Valley including Keran, Karnah, Gurez, Machil, Tanghdar, Uri, Gulmarg, Yousmarg, Pahalgam, Sonarmarg have witnessed heavy snowfall. The ski resort of Gulmarg has recorded more than 7 ft of snowfall while Gurez, which has witnessed at least three snow avalanches in 72 hours, has experienced about 11 ft of snowfall.

The plains including Srinagar have also experienced heavy snowfall.

Many of the inter-district roads in the Valley are disconnected and there has also been breakdown of electricity with North Kashmir being the worst hit.

As was predicted by the weatherman, the weather conditions improved today after three days of continuous snowfall.

Due to improvement in weather conditions, the air traffic at Srinagar airport resumed today after remaining suspended for three days.

An airport official said there was a significant improvement in visibility and weather conditions today.

“Due to marked improvement in visibility, all the flights took off and landed at Srinagar airport today,” he said adding an additional flight was also operated today for the stranded passengers.

However, the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only link road connecting Kashmir with rest of the Valley, remained closed for all kinds of vehicular traffic for the 4th consecutive day today.

A traffic police official said snow avalanches hit the highway at Shaitani Nallah while the continuous rain and snowfall triggered landslides at many places including Digdol and Chesma, hampering the efforts to make the road traffic worthy.

He said it will take some time for the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which is looking after maintenance of the highway, to make the road traffic worthy because there is snow depth of 10-12 feet at some places.

He said no fresh traffic would be allowed on the highway unless all the obstructions all cleared and road made traffic worthy.

Due to closure of Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the prices of essential commodities have shot up here and Valley is also facing shortage of cooking gas.

Valley is totally dependent on the highway for the supplies.

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