Snowfall affects surface, air traffic for 2nd day in valley

Over 4000 vehicles strandedNo traffic on highway todaySrinagar, Jan 04: The plains and higher reaches on Monday received fresh spells of moderate to heavy snowfall for the second consecutive day leading to the closure of Srinagar – Jammu highway and cancellation of all flights at Srinagar airport for the second consecutive day. Due to the landslides, over 4,000 vehicles are stranded at various places along the Srinagar Jammu highway.The Meteorological Department has predicted moderate to heavy snowfall in higher reaches and parts of south Kashmir in the next 18 hours.Director MeT, Sonam Lotus told Rising Kashmir that widespread moderate to heavy snowfall will likely continue till 6th January.“Monday night to Tuesday afternoon will witness peak activity in both Jammu and Kashmir regions.  We are expecting a significant improvement in present conditions from Wednesday onward.At many places in south Kashmir, the depth of snow is over 1.5 feet to 2 feet, which hampered pedestrian movement. The administration had set up control rooms to help people across the Valley and asked them to remain on high alert.As per MeT,  ski-resort Gulmarg in Baramulla recorded fresh 1 feet of snowfall, Tangmarg received 7 inches, Pahalgam 1.2 feet, Sonamarg 11 inches, Qazigund, 1 feet, Shopian 2 feet, Pulwama 1.5 feet, Tral 1.3 feet, Kulgam 1.6 feet, Kokernag, 1.6 feet, Banihal 6 inches,  16 inches Srinagar, Kupwara 5 inches, Baramulla 6 inches, Ganderbal 5 inches,  Budgam 5 inches, Anantnag 17 inches.Peer ki Galli also witnessed heavy snowfall and recorded more than 1 feet till Monday evening.  Marwah in Kishtwar received 2 feet of fresh snowfall, while Warwan 2 feet 8 inches.While Sinthan Top, Minimarg, Sadhna Top, Zojila Pass, and Dras also received heavy snowfall till Monday evening.As the night sky remained cloudy, minimum temperatures improved throughout J&K and Ladakh.Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 0.9 degrees Celsius up from the previous night’s minus 1.5 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam also had minus 6.7 degrees Celsius while Gulmarg settled at minus 5.0 degrees Celsius.Qazigund recorded a minimum of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius, Kupwara minus 0.3 degrees Celsius and Kokernag, minus 1.4 degrees Celsius.Meanwhile, Disaster Management Authority has issued a low-level avalanche warning (yellow alert) for upper reaches of Ramban district. The MeT department has issued an orange alert which means people have been asked to maintain vigil in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.Director Srinagar International Airport, Santosh Dhoke told Rising Kashmir that following the low visibility at the track, all flights scheduled for Monday were canceled for the second consecutive day.He said men and machinery were on the job to clear the runway.Dhoke said in view of the MeT prediction for snowfall for the next two days, flight operations would depend on runway visibility on Tuesday.Earlier on Sunday, 19 flights were canceled at the airport following the low visibility on the runway due to snowfall.The Srinagar-Jammu national highway is closed for the second consecutive day as there have been fresh landslides on the highway.Officials at Traffic Department said over 4,000 vehicles are stranded at various places along the Srinagar Jammu highway. On Sunday J&K traffic police had issued an advisory asking people not to travel on the national highway.Meanwhile, as per the traffic advisory, no vehicular movement shall be allowed on Jammu-Srinagar highway in view of snow accumulation around the Jawahar Tunnel.“Landslides, shooting stones, mudslides have blocked several places along the road and inclement weather prediction issued by the MeT department in J&K for next few days,”  the advisory said.

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