Updated February 20th, 2024 at 19:08 IST

Slippery Roads, Traffic Jams: Snow Disrupts Normal Life in J&K, Avalanche Alert in Several Districts

Gulmarg and other higher reaches have received a significant amount of snowfall, with renowned skiing resort recording nearly 4 feet of snow within 48 hours.

Edited by: Kriti Dhingra
Gulmarg and other higher reaches have received a significant amount of snowfall, with renowned skiing resort recording nearly 4 feet of snow within 48 hours. | Image:Younis Khaliq
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Srinagar: Widespread snowfall across Kashmir on Tuesday brought normal life to a standstill as flight operations, surface transport, and routine activities came to a halt. The entire valley has been engulfed in snow since morning, with Srinagar city witnessing around 4 inches of accumulation. For the over 1.2 million residents of Srinagar, this snowfall marks the second major event of the winter season. "The few inches of snow that fell on Tuesday brought disruptions to normal life in Srinagar," said local resident Ghulam Ahmed Wani.

Commuters grappled with slippery roads and traffic jams across the city, expressing frustration over the inconvenience caused.

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Shoppers and office-goers were seen hurrying to reach home early, further congesting the already busy roads.

Reports of traffic jams surfaced from various parts of Srinagar, including uptown, downtown, and the outskirts of the city.

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The snowfall compounded the challenges faced by residents, resulting in delays and heightened frustration as they navigated the icy roads.

Flight operations from Srinagar International Airport too have been severely impacted, with delays due to reduced visibility on the runway, which has dropped to less than 500 meters.

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Kashmir University has postponed all professional and other examinations scheduled for Wednesday in light of the adverse weather conditions.

The heavy snowfall has also disrupted electricity supply in most areas of Srinagar city and rural areas.

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To address emergencies, the divisional administration has established helpline numbers across the valley, urging residents to reach out in case of any urgent situation.

According to the weather office here, “Gulmarg and other higher reaches in the Kashmir Valley have received a significant amount of snowfall, with the renowned skiing resort recording nearly 4 feet of snow within 48 hours until Tuesday afternoon,”.

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Forecaster Faizan Arif has warned of continued low temperatures and persistent snowfall across Kashmir. “In central and northern Kashmir, light to moderate snow showers are expected, while southern Kashmir may experience moderate to heavy snowfall. Some low-lying areas of southern Kashmir could see snow accumulation ranging between 8 and 12 inches,” Arif said.

 

Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Disaster Management Authority (JKDMA) has issued avalanche alerts with varying danger levels across several districts, urging residents to exercise caution.

The alerts delineate the following danger levels and corresponding districts:

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  • Low Danger Level: Above 2200 meters in the Anantnag & Kulgam districts.
  • Medium Danger Level: Above 2400 meters in the Bandipora & Baramulla districts.
  • High Danger Level: Above 2000 meters in the Doda, Kishtwar, Poonch, Ramban, Kupwara & Ganderbal districts.

The alerts come in response to the ongoing heavy snowfall, which has increased the risk of avalanches in the mountainous regions. “Authorities are advising residents to avoid venturing into high-altitude areas and to stay informed about local weather conditions,” said an official with the disaster management department.

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To facilitate immediate assistance during emergencies, authorities have also urged residents to dial 112 for prompt support. 

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Published February 20th, 2024 at 18:58 IST