The state administration Wednesday issued an avalanche warning, valid for next 24 hours, for at least nine districts in Kashmir following fresh snowfall in upper reaches of the Valley, even as the local meteorological department predicted considerable improvement in weather from Thursday evening.
Quoting a communication from divisional commissioner Kashmir, an official spokesman said there is a danger of avalanches from November 13 (5pm) to
November 14 (5pm) in avalanche-prone areas of Bandipora, Baramulla, Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Kupwara, Ganderbal, Leh and Kargil districts of Kashmir division.
The deputy commissioners of the concerned districts have been asked to advise people not to venture out in avalanche-prone areas during this period, the spokesman said.
‘WEATHER TO IMPROVE’
The local meteorological department said weather is expected to improve from Thursday evening and remain dry till November 21, even as upper reaches of Kashmir continued to experience fresh snowfall.
Director meteorological department Sonam Lotus told that weather has started to improve but there can be light rains or snow at some places in next 24 hours.
“After overall improvement from Thursday evening, weather is likely to remain dry till November 21,” he said.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway—the only surface link of Kashmir with rest of the world—was re-opened for traffic after brief closure due to landslides and shooting stones along the thoroughfare.
Superintendent of traffic police (rural) Muzaffar Ahmad Shah said the road was closed following landslides at Shalgadi area in Ramban district.
“It was closed for about two hours but later re-opened,” he said, adding that the intending highway travellers must contact traffic units in Srinagar and Jammu before leaving for their destinations Thursday. Shah said the Mughal Road and Sonamarg-Kargil highway continued to remain closed because of fresh snowfall along the routes.
The Sonamarg-Kargil road was closed Monday afternoon as a precautionary measure following fresh snowfall. SP traffic (rural) said that a few inches of snow have accumulated along Zojila Pass and few avalanches have taken place on the road. “It will take a few days to clear the road,” he said.
Meanwhile, upper reaches in Kashmir’s northern, southern and central areas experienced fresh snowfall in the last 24 hours, while plains including summer capital Srinagar received light to moderate rains.
Khilanmarg and Kongdori areas in tourist resort of Gulmarg in Baramulla district received heavy snowfall late Wednesday afternoon, while Keran, Karnah, Machil, Neeru, Gurez and other areas near the Line of Control in Kashmir also received moderate to heavy snowfall.
Dozens of far-flung and remote areas in Kupwara and Bandipora districts were cut-off from their respective district and tehsil headquarters due to closure of roads following fresh snowfall.
Fresh moderate to heavy snowfall was recorded in higher reaches of Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts as well.
The Mughal Road, connecting Shopian with Rajouri and Poonch districts, remained closed for the third consecutive day Wednesday as fresh snowfall was recorded at several places, including Pir-ki-Gali, along the thoroughfare, an official source said.
The tourist resort of Pahalgam in Anantnag district also received fresh snowfall Wednesday. The tourist resort of Sonamarg also received fresh snowfall.
Srinagar recorded a maximum of 7.9 degrees Celsius and minimum of 5.2 degrees, the official said, adding that the city recorded 5.2 mm rainfall.
The temperatures recorded elsewhere were: Qazigund (maximum 6.2 degrees Celsius, minimum 5.2 degrees Celsius); Pahalgam (maximum 4.4 degrees Celsius, minimum 1.3 degrees Celsius); Kupwara (maximum 6.72 degrees Celsius, minimum 1.6 degrees Celsius); Kokernag (7.3 degrees Celsius, minimum 3.7 degrees Celsius); Gulmarg (maximum 1.4 degrees Celsius, minimum minus -3.0 degrees Celsius); Leh (maximum 8.1 degrees Celsius, minimum minus -1.4 degrees Celsius) and Kargil (maximum 7.6 degrees Celsius, minimum minus 7.0 degrees Celsius).f