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Heavy Snowfall Disrupts Normal Life in Kashmir

Life has been thrown out of gear as people struggled to move out of their homes, markets were closed and traffic was disrupted.
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Srinagar: Normal life was disrupted in Kashmir on Wednesday as electricity supply and commuting were hit by a fresh spell of heavy snowfall.Life has been thrown out of gear as people struggled to move out of their homes, markets were closed and traffic was disrupted.

Several vehicles and, at least, two houses, one belonging to a Nisar Ahmad of Hurdamir village (Tral) and the other to a Manzoor Ahmad Gojree of Srinagar, were damaged. Exams at the University of Kashmir and colleges have been postponed.

The arterial road connecting the Valley to the outside world was also closed due to landslides. Hundreds of vehicles, including ones carrying essential items, along the 300 km Jammu-Srinagar Highway were stranded, according to the traffic department.

Commuters have been requested to avoid travel without confirming the status of traffic control units either at Ramban or Srinagar in view of the inclement weather prediction by the meteorological department. The Mughal Road, connecting Shopian to Poonch and Rajouri districts, has also been closed in view of the accumulation of snow at Peer Ki Gali.

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The snowfall has also disrupted the electricity supply to a majority of the areas in the Valley. “Due to the overnight heavy snowfall, several trees fell on 11 KV feeder, resulting in disruption of power supply to many areas. The field staff is trying to restore supply at the earliest. The inconvenience is regretted,” an executive engineer of the power department in Srinagar said.

The chief engineer of the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited said that 655 of the power system is down due to the extensive damage caused to the transmission lines. Restoration of 800-900 MW is expected by evening, he added.

The regional meteorological department reported that the Valley received moderate-to-heavy snowfall overnight while predicting that the intensity will decrease afternoon. Srinagar has reported about eight inches of snow so far while most of the rural areas had more than one-foot snowfall with the temperature dropping to 3 degrees.

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Moderate-to-heavy rain/snow with isolated incidents of very heavy snowfall was reported in most areas of J&K with higher reaches reporting 1-2 feet snow and thunderstorms in the Jammu region,” a meteorological department official was quoted as saying.

The tourist destinations of Pahalgam and Gulmarg recorded 13.77 inches and 14.8 inches of snow respectively. Jammu, according to officials, recorded a low of 13.2 degrees against 12.8 degrees on the previous night. Leh recorded a low of minus 6.9 degrees and Kargil minus 11.2 degrees after a fresh spell of snowfall.

The snowfall disrupted air traffic as well with 35 flights cancelled on Wednesday, according to Srinagar airport officials. The next update about the remaining flights would be issued at 3 pm.

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