Snow avalanche kills 1, injures 8
Srinagar-Jammu Highway Closed For Traffic
Banihal, Feb 4: One person died and eight others wounded when they came under a snow avalanche in Mahu-Mangat area, while Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed for vehicular movement due to landslides and fresh snowfall.
Official sources said that a group of villagers, who were on way from Khari to Mahu came under a snow avalanche this morning. People from the adjoining villages rushed to the spot as all the nine persons were buried under snow. Reports said that eight persons were dug out alive but one of the villagers identified as Ali Muhammad Gujjar son of Muhammad Abdullah of Bawa Mahu died on the spot.
Four of the injured were rushed to the hospital in a critical condition, sources said adding that the district administration has asked the villagers to avoid movement in view of the avalanche threat.
The 300 kilometer Srinagar-Jammu highway was meanwhile closed for vehicular movement in view of continuous snowfall at Patnitop and on both ends of Jawahar tunnel. Rains also triggered landslides between Panthial and Nachlana. While nearly 300 vehicles including trucks were stranded between Batote and Jawahar tunnel, nearly 1,500 vehicles were waiting for green signal from Traffic Police officials to their onward journey to Valley from Nagrota and Udhampur side and from Qazigund side towards Jammu. “The highway has been closed for vehicular traffic due to snowfall in Bannihal. It is snowing at this time too. Road clearance operation would start once snowfall stops,” an official said adding that the BEACON has pressed men and machinery to restore highway but continuous snow was hampering the work.
The Meteorological department had predicted widespread rain and snowfall would continue to lash the state till February 7. “Heavy to very snowfall, especially in the Pir Panjal Range in the Valley, could disrupt air and surface transport,” the MeT department had predicted.
Aaqib Ashraf adds from Srinagar
Rains and snowfall continued to lash Valley for second consecutive day on Sunday with Gulmarg receiving more than one feet of fresh snowfall.
According to the MeT Department minimum temperatures in Kargil, which continues to remain coldest recorded place in the state settled at minus 12 degree Celsius, two notches colder than Yesterday’s minimum of minus 10.4 degree Celsius while as in Leh, the minimum settled at minus 5 degree Celsius, an increase of 1.4 degree over last night’s temperature. The minimum temperature in Pahalgam, which recorded 2 centimeter of snow till Monday evening, settled at 0.2 degree Celsius, showing an increase of over three notches from last night’s minimum of minus 3.2 degree Celsius. While as in Gulmarg, which received more than 1 feet of snow till Monday evening, recorded minimum temperatures of minus 5 degree Celsius, an increase of two notches over last night’s minimum temperature of minus 7 degree and maximum in the area settled at 1.6 degree Celsius.
The minimum temperature at Qazigund settled at 1.2 degree Celsius and maximum in the area settled at 8 degree Celsius.
On the instructions of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir due to bad weather conditions, the District Administration Kupwara has issued weather warning forecast of snowfall.
All the concerned departments have been directed to remain vigilant and not to leave the headquarters to meet any eventuality and keep close contact with Police Control Rooms of Kupwara and Handwara on contact Nos. 01955-252451, 01955-262295, 01955-252280 and 9419046946 respectively.
Reports from Karnah said that light to heavy snowfall last night disrupted normal life in the Tehsil. The snowfall forced closure of Karnah-Kupwara and Keran-Kupwara roads in the district.
At least three feet snow has accumulated on the Karnah–Kupwara road near high altitude Sadhna Top, reports said.
“Snow cutters are clearing the road near Sadhna top and TP near Chowkibal on Karnah-Kupwara road. It may take at least a week to clear the road for traffic as it is snowing heavily since last night,”,Zahoor Ahmad Mir, SDM Karnah told Greater Kashmir.
Reports said that roads leading to Jadda, Jabri,Upper Methian, Shamaspora Budwan and Charpoongi in bordering Karnah were also blocked for traffic due to snowfall last night. These areas received around one feet of snow last night. Reports said that two trucks carrying vegetables and fruits on their way to Karnah remained stranded near Sadhna Top on Karnah-Kupwara road due to fresh snowfall last evening.
According to locals, Shakti Vijay Brigade of Army rescued at least 13 passengers including three women, when vehicles they were travelling in got stranded near Sadhna Top. The passengers were on their way to Karnah from Kupwara when heavy snowfall closed the road for traffic.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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