MeT predicts improvement in weather from today
Srinagar: Snow and rain continued in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday with meteorological centre Srinagar predicting improvement in weather from Monday.
Rains and snow lashed Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir leading to drop in temperature. In south Kashmir, Jawahar Tunnel area received around 1 feet of snow resulting in closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway.
An official of disaster management said that mudslide and shooting stones blocked road at Cafteria morh in Ramban stretch leading to closure of the strategic highway.
Over 100 trucks are stranded between Chanderkote and Ramsu and efforts by the road clearance agencies are on to make the road trafficable.
Officials said the helicopter service to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine atop Trikuta hills in Reasi district also remained suspended due to inclement weather but the yatra continued despite a landslide on the new track and fresh snowfall at the bhawan.
Senior Superintendent of Police, traffic, Shabir Ahmad Malik said the Jammu-Srinagar national highway was closed after overnight rains triggered landslides and shooting of stones from the hillocks at various places including Cafeteria Morh, Duggi Pulli (Chanderkote) and Panthiyal in Ramban district.
No fresh traffic, which was scheduled to ply from Jammu towards Srinagar, was allowed this morning, he said.
The officer said Banihal also received heavy snowfall, rendering the arterial road slippery.
Officials said a landslide occurred on the new track leading to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine around 5 am on Sunday.
The landslide was cleared and the route is now open for the pilgrims, the officials said, adding the helicopter service, however, remained suspended for the second day on Sunday due to inclement weather.
Vaishno Devi shrine experienced over six inches of snow, while the depth of snow in its peripheral areas including Bhairon Ghati was over one feet, the officials said.
A MeT official said that weather will remain overcast with intermittent rain and snow till Sunday evening. “Overall improvement from 24th onwards till 29th,” it said.
Qazigund and the nearby Kokernag town, recorded about six inches of snowfall.
Anantnag town, also in the south, recorded three inches of snowfall, the officials said.
The other south Kashmir districts of Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam also received snowfall ranging from two to seven inches, they said.
Gulmarg and Pahalgam received around two inches.
There are reports of snowfall in other areas in the upper reaches of the valley as well, they said.
The officials said the administration has pressed men and machinery into the job to clear the snow.
Other parts of the valley, including Srinagar, were lashed by rains which were going on when the last reports came in, the officials said.
However, the flight operations at the Srinagar airport here were going on normally as the visibility was around 1000 metres, the officials said.
The minimum temperature at most places in the valley on Saturday night went down slightly.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of 0.4 degrees Celsius down from 2.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, they said.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 6.0 degrees Celsius half-a-degree up from the previous night.
Pahalgam, which serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius up from the previous night’s minus 2.4 degrees Celsius, they said.
The officials said Qazigund recorded a minimum of zero degree Celsius, while the nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.7 degrees Celsius.
The minimum in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of 1.2 degrees Celsius.
—With PTI inputs