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J&K: Srinagar highway shut after fresh snowfall; avalanche warning issued

CNN-IBN
Feb 23, 2013 at 02:24pm IST

Srinagar: The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained closed for the second day on Saturday even as fresh snowfall across Kashmir prompted authorities to issue an avalanche warning in higher reaches of the Valley. "The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is closed for vehicular traffic due to continuous snowfall on either side of Jawahar tunnel in south Kashmir," a spokesman of the traffic department said. He said snowfall was hampering efforts of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and other concerned agencies to clear the road of the snow accumulated overnight.

The 294-km arterial highway, the only all-weather road link between Kashmir and rest of the country, was closed on Friday due to snowfall. The snowfall in the Valley has affected normal life as electricity supply has been snapped while many roads in the rural areas have been blocked due to snow.

The disaster management cell had warned of avalanches in certain parts of the state including Gulmarg, Sonmarg, higher reaches of Uri, Tangdhar, Gurez and both sides of the Jawahar tunnel near Banihal.

Roads in Srinagar, which received the second major snowfall of the winter this morning, were rendered slippery and traffic was moving at a snail s pace in most areas. According to a MET department official, Srinagar received snowfall and rains equivalent to 30.1 mm rainfall since on Friday while Qazigund the gateway town to the Valley received 42.2mm.

Pahalgam in south Kashmir received snowfall equivalent to 46.6 mm of rainfall followed by Kupwara (44.0mm), Kokernag (40.6 mm) and Gulmarg skiing resort (35.0 mm) in north Kashmir. The snowfall has resulted in the mercury staying around freezing point in most parts of the Valley but Gulmarg continued to shiver at minus 5.6 degrees Celsius. While Kargil was the coldest recorded place in the state at minus 11.0 degrees Celsius, Leh town saw the mercury rise to minus 5.0 degrees Celsius.

With Additional Inputs from PTI

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