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Valley cut off due to heavy snowfall

Valley cut off due to heavy snowfall
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Srinagar:  Surface and air links between the Kashmir Valley and rest of the country were snapped due to heavy snowfall here, officials said.
The season’s first snowfall in Srinagar began on Saturday afternoon and several inches of snow had accumulated in the city.
An official of the MeT Department said this was the first time since 2009 that Srinagar city witnessed snowfall in November.
“So rare is the occurrence that in the last two decades, it was only the fourth time that it has snowed in Srinagar in November with 2008 and 2004 being the earlier instances,” he said.
Reports of heavy snowfall were received from other district headquarters and major towns of the Valley as well, officials said, adding that it continued to snow in the higher reaches of Kashmir for the second day, triggering avalanches at some places.
“Avalanches were triggered in some parts of Gurez in Bandipora district, Men and machinery have been deployed to clear the roads, wherever necessary at the earliest,” they said.
A spokesman of the Traffic Department said the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the arterial road connecting the valley with rest of the country, has been closed for vehicular traffic due to heavy snowfall.
Air traffic to and fro Srinagar international airport was also stopped due to snowfall with several late afternoon and evening flights cancelled, the officials said.

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