Kashmir valley wakes up to blanket of snow Fresh spell throws life out of gear: electricity, flight operations, surface transport affected Transmission lines, several houses damaged, NHW closed: Admin caught in limbo

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Kashmir valley wakes up to blanket of snow Fresh spell throws life out of gear: electricity, flight operations, surface transport affected   Transmission lines, several houses damaged, NHW closed: Admin caught in limbo

 

Srinagar, Feb 23: Kashmir valley woke up to a blanket of snowfall, the season's heaviest snowfall so far which ended up disrupting flight and surface transport operations in the region on Wednesday.

"Moderate to heavy rain/snow with isolated very heavy snow occurred at most places of Jammu & Kashmir, with higher reaches reporting 1-2 feet of snow and thunderstorms in Jammu region,” the met department said in a statement.

Gulmarg ski resort reported 15 inches of snow accumulation on the ground, while Srinagar city recorded around eight inches of snowfall until this morning.

Several flights have been cancelled from Srinagar airport after the visibility dropped below 400 meters, while continuous snowfall hampered the snow clearance operations.

Overnight snowfall also triggered landslides and shooting stones, due to which the authorities had to shut down the Jammu-Srinagar highway. Hundreds of vehicles, including 300 Kashmir-bound trucks carrying essentials and other supplies, have been stranded at the Banihal highway.

Meanwhile, the Mughal Road, which connects Shopian with Poonch and Rajouri districts, has remained closed for vehicular movement given the snow accumulation at Peer Ki Gali.

"Snow clearance machines of MED (mechanical engineering department) and other departments are clearing the snow mechanically and manually from the main roads since early morning, but due to continuous snowfall, the roads are very slippery and there are chances of accidents," the authorities said in an advisory.

Train services from Banihal to Baramulla have also been suspended for the day.

As per the KPDCL, the snowfall uprooted several trees, which fell on an 11KV feeder and disrupted the power supply across Srinagar.

Kashmir University has postponed all professional and other exams scheduled for Wednesday.

The divisional administration has set up helpline numbers to attend to emergencies across the Valley.

The IMD’s regional meteorological department in Srinagar has predicted a gradual decrease in rain and snow from Wednesday afternoon, and a significant improvement in the weather from evening onwards.

 

 

InDespitehe the predicted improvement in the weather, the authorities have advised people to stay home unless necessary.

Electricity supply and commuting were badly hit by a fresh spell of heavy snowfall. People struggled to move out of their homes, markets were closed and traffic was off the roads.

The overnight heavy snowfall across Kashmir has caused major damage to power transmission infrastructure disrupting power supply to most of the areas in the valley.

"Heavy damage reported to power infrastructure across Kashmir division. Despite the continued bad weather and low temperature, the field teams are on job for early restoration of power supply,” a spokesperson of the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) said.

As per the KPDCL, due to overnight heavy snowfall, several trees were uprooted and fell on 11the KV feeder resulting in disruption of power supply in many areas even as the field staff is on job for early restoration of power supply.

Chief Engineer of Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL), Aijaz Ahmad Dar said the heavy snowfall has caused "at least 60 per cent" damage to the transmission system.

Dar said men and machinery have been pressed to restore the electricity adding the restoration process is likely to be completed by this evening.

The authorities have pressed men and machinery into service to clear the snow off the roads, many of which, such as those leading to hospitals and other vital installations, are being cleared on priority, the officials said.

Nearly half a dozen residential houses and two sheds were damaged while two ladies also suffered injuries due to heavy snowfall in the valley.

Reports said several families had a narrow escape today after the residential houses collapsed due to heavy snowfall today.

Two ladies from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district identified as Arifa Banoo (45) wife of Mohammad Shafi Dar of Achan and Jana Begum, wife of Abdul Rehman Dar of Lelhara Pulwama were injured in separate incidents.

The duo was injured after the shshedollapsed, the official sources said, adding Arifa was cooking in a shed when it suddenly collapsed thus causing injuries while Jana was also in the shed when it collapsed.

Moreover, nearly half a dozen residential houses including one in Srinagar, others in Southern districts of Kashmir were damaged due to the fresh snowfall.

The houses belong to Manzoor Ahmad Gojri of Chatterhama Hazratbal, Mushtaq Ahmad Sheikh in Tral, Ghulam Mohammad Mir in Kanjilor Shopian, Riyaz Ahmad Bhat in Batapora Ladoo Pampore.

A few of the residential houses were also damaged in Kethe lower area of Shopian, official sources said.

A family at Gulzarpora village of Awantipora Tehsil in South Kashmir's Pulwama district had a narrow escape after a walnut tree fell on their residential house today morning.

A shed belonging to Showkat Ahmad Dar, son of Ghulam Ahmad Dar of Wandena Malhotra was also damaged after a tree fell on it, officials said, adding no loss of life was reported, but the belongings in the shed were completely damaged.

Pertinently, Kashmir received heavy snowfall since last evening while the local Meteorological department here has predicted improvement in the weather conditions from tomorrow

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