3 killed in Kashmir, dozens of houses damaged, many areas still without electricity, road access
Srinagar: Heavy snowfall across Kashmir wreaked havoc on Wednesday, killing three persons and causing severe damage to residential houses and property.
The three deaths reported on Wednesday were of one person each from Srinagar, Kupwara, and Shopian districts. Reports said that an elderly woman, Rahami Begum, 81, died after coming under snow slide at Trehgam village of Kupwara on Wednesday. In Srinagar, a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Sub Inspector lost his life after a shed collapsed on him due to the heavy snowfall, at a former legislator’s house in Hazratbal area of the city outskirts. The deceased was identified as HC Murmu. He was taken to Sub-district hospital Hazratbal but later succumbed to his injuries upon reaching SKIMS Institute, Srinagar.
In Shopian district, an elderly man died on a stretcher that was being carried to hospital on foot. The deceased, aged 60, was identified as Bashir Ahmad Famda, son of Abdul Rehman Famda, a resident of Chowan village in Keller area.
As per reports, two residential houses collapsed during Tuesday night due to heavy snowfall in Khag area of Budgam district. The damaged houses belonged to Reyaz Ahmad Sheikh and Ghulam Mohidin Bhat. Reports said there wasn’t any loss of life or injury in the incident.
In Srinagar, two residential houses suffered damage due to heavy snowfall. Reports said that a three-storey residential house was partially damaged after its rooftop crumbled under the load of snow in Baghat Shoora area on Srinagar outskirts.
Another three-storey residential house suffered partial damage when its roof crashed to the ground, leaving the building open to the sky. The incident was reported to have occurred at Tengpora Bypass area. In Bemina area, a residential house belonging to Ghulam Mohammad Guroo, in the Boatman Colony, was said to have suffered partial damage due to the snowfall.
As per reports, a residential house was damaged due to the heavy snowfall on Wednesday morning in Kurhama area of Ganderbal district.
Similar reports of substantial damage to property came from other parts of the Kashmir, especially from south Kashmir which has received major snowfall of about two to four feet. In Shopian district, a residential house was damaged in Cheramarg area of Zainpora on Wednesday. In Anantnag district, reports said that many houses suffered partial damage due to the heavy snowfall.
Several videos and pictures of damaged houses across Kashmir valley were doing rounds on social media on Wednesday. In the afternoon, people were seen busy clearing the snow from their rooftops to prevent them from collapsing. In the videos shared on social media, mostly the rooftops of houses were seen crashing down under the weight of snow.
Even in capital city Srinagar, the movement of vehicles remained restricted on Wednesday as the administration failed to clear many roads of snow. People complained that even roads leading to hospitals, including SMHS and SKIMS, were not properly cleared of snow.
A nine-month pregnant lady was forced to walk five kilometers to hospital in Hajin area of Bandipora, as per reports. In Punzwa village of Budgam district, an expecting mother was seen being carried on a stretcher to hospital.
As per reports, many villages in Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Kulgam districts are still inaccessible due to roads being under snow. Several people have also complained of lack of electricity and water supply.
Weather officials said that in the past 24 hours, Qazigund in south Kashmir received about one feet of fresh snow. Srinagar city received about one feet of fresh snow during the same period. Pahalgam received about nine inches of snow and Gulmarg recorded one foot of fresh snowfall by Wednesday morning. Kupwara in north Kashmir received snowfall of five to seven inches.
Weather officials said that there was the significant improvement in weather on Wednesday and it is expected to remain dry for the next few days across Kashmir valley. However, they said, the possibility of light snowfall at isolated places cannot be ruled out in the next few days.
Flights are likely to operate on Thursday at Srinagar Airport, officials said. “All preparation done, we are ready for flight operations tomorrow. Request to all passengers to take flight status update with airlines and approach Srinagar airport before time to avoid rush,” said the official handout of the Srinagar Airport.
According to the MeT data, Srinagar city recorded a maximum temperature of 3.5 degree Celsius and minimum temperature of minus 0.9 degree Celsius on Wednesday. Qazigund recorded maximum of 2.2 degree Celsius and minimum of minus 0.2 degree Celsius. Pahalgam recorded maximum of 3.9 degree and minimum of minus 1.2 degree. Gulmarg settled at minus 0.5 degree Celsius maximum temperature and minus 3.5 degree minimum temperature. Kupwara recorded a maximum temperature of 5.5 degree and minus 0.7 degree minimum temperature.
Regarding traffic movement on Srinagar-Jammu Highway, the traffic department said on Wednesday that there will be no traffic allowed to move from Srinagar towards Jammu and vice versa on Thursday due to the accumulation of snow. “No traffic tomorrow, in the view of snow accumulation around the Jawahar Tunnel, landslides, shooting stones and mudslides at several places of national highway and inclement weather prediction by Met department,” it said.