Heavy Snow Batters Kashmir: Roads Impassable, Electricity Supply Disrupted
Weather To Improve ‘Significantly’ From Jan 6 Afternoon: MeT
Srinagar, Jan 5(GNS): Widespread snowfall continued for third consecutive day on Tuesday, bringing normal life to a standstill in Kashmir Valley. The snowfall caused damage to a few structures and led to almost impassable driving conditions across the Valley, forcing people to stay indoors. Most lanes remained clogged with snow with most people complaining that no efforts were made by the concerned authorities to carve out passage let alone clearing them altogether. Snow clearance machine were pressed to clear on main roads but snow continued to accumulate on road, making driving difficult.
A MeT official here told GNS that Srinagar received 28cms of snowfall in the last 36 hours till 1730 hours while Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir, recorded the highest depth in the plains across Valley—48.3cms—during the time and 98.5cms (39.4inches) in the last 60hours.
Pahalgam, the famous tourist destination, and Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, recorded 25cms and 38cms of fresh snowfall during the 36 hours respectively, the MeT official said.
Regarding Gulmarg, the official said that the world famous skiing resort accumulated 23 cms of fresh snowfall during 36 hours. Only 3cms of snow was recorded in Gulmarg from 0830 to 1730 hours today, the official said. Kupwara recorded 11cms of snowfall during the 36 hours till 1730 hours. Central Kashmir’s Ganderbal and Budgam districts received almost the same snow depth as Srinagar even as higher reaches accumulated more snow.
Reports said one walnut tree fell on a residential house of one Abul Hameed Dar at Sagam Kokernag and damaged the roof. Also middle School Kanderpora Guree in Bijbehara Annatnag suffered damaged along with roof of two residential houses at Manigam Kulgam. A residential House was damaged in Zoonimar area of Srinagar at Noor Nagar even as there was no loss of life or injury reported.
The heavy snowfall also caused power disruptions and as per official figures revealed during a meeting chaired by advisor to LG Baseer Ahmad Khan through video conference, at least 223 feeders are still to be restored apart from several 33KV and 11KV lines.
The snowfall has also led to severe disruptions in milk and vegetable supplies to parts of Srinagar and elsewhere.
A per an official communiqué, ‘Priority -1’ road connectivity in all the districts has been cleared while ‘Priority – 2’ road connectivity in all the districts range between 50 to 70% and clearance of inner link roads “is in progress.”
Meanwhile, Srinagar recorded a low of minus 0.8 °C while mercury settled at minus 1.1°C in Pahalgam, minus 4.0°C in Gulmarg, Qazigund minus 0.2°C, Kupwara minus 0.7°C while Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.7°C, the official said.
Kashmir is in the middle Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day winter period which commenced on December 21 and ends on January 31. The period is considered the harshest of the winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum.
The cold wave, however, continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold). The weatherman has forecast more snowfall in the next 24 hours and a “significant” improvement in from January 6.
Weatherman said widespread heavy to very heavy snow/rain will continue till forenoon of January 6, especially in South Kashmir, Poonch, Rajouri, Chenab Valley, Pirpanjal etc.
“We expect significant Improvement in weather from afternoon of January 6 with decreased snowfall, better visibility,” Sonam Lotus, Director Meteorological department told GNS. From January 7 onward, he said cold wave will return. “Expect warmer days and colder nights for next one week from January 7 onwards”.
He also urged people in snowbound hilly areas to avoid venturing out as there are chances of avalanche due to very heavy snow.”Clear snow on your roofs frequently (especially Kaccha homes),” he said, adding, “Open doors and windows frequently to ensure enough supply of oxygen in your homes as otherwise death may be caused due to asphyxiation due to poisonous gas carbon monoxide from bukharis and heater etc.” (GNS)