Mercury drops to freezing point in Kashmir, Valley engulfs in white sheet
Widespread snowfall lashed the Kashmir Valley on Saturday as air and surface links between the region and the outside world were snapped. The Met Office said widespread snowfall, light in plains and heavy in the higher reaches occurred in Jammu and Kashmir during the last 24 hours. An India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said more snow is expected during the next 24 hours till Sunday morning after which the weather would improve.
Due to poor visibility and runway clearance problems, no flight landed or took off from Srinagar international airport on Saturday morning. The Srinagar-Jammu Highway, the Mughal Road, the Srinagar-Leh Highway and mountain passes leading to Gurez and Tangdhar have been closed due to heavy snowfall. The higher reaches, including Gulmarg, Sonamarg, the Pir Panjal mountains and Pahalgam received heavy snowfall.
The authorities moved out early to clear roads in Srinagar city although inter-district traffic between Srinagar and other districts remained suspended. Electric supply in the urban and rural areas was disrupted because of the snowfall. Most parts of the Valley did not have electricity in the morning. Srinagar recorded minus 1.3 degree Celsius, Pahalgam minus 2.8 and Gulmarg minus 7.3 as the minimum temperatures on Friday.
Leh town recorded minus 8 degrees and Kargil minus 15.6. Jammu city had 8.6, Katra 6.4, Batote minus 1.3, Bannihal 0.3 and Bhaderwah minus 0.2 as the night's lowest temperatures.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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