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Srinagar-Jammu National Highway closed due to heavy snowfall; widespread rainfall in Punjab, Haryana

Helicopter and ropeway services at Vaishno Devi shrine were also suspended following inclement weather conditions.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: January 22, 2019 11:53 IST
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Image Source : PTI

Hilly areas witness heavy snowfall

The Kashmir Valley witnessed light to moderate fresh snowfall on Tuesday, while incessant rain was received in the Jammu division as the Met forecast improvement from Wednesday onwards. The western disturbance active over Jammu and Kashmir resulted in rains in the Jammu division and snowfall in the valley over the past 24 hours, since Monday.

Commenting on the situation, a MeT official said, "The system is likely to weaken from Tuesday evening and we are expecting gradual improvement from tomorrow onwards.”

The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway meanwhile, was closed on Tuesday after a snow avalanche blocked both tubes of the Jawahar tunnel on Qazigund side, police said. 

Rescue operations were launched to evacuate people stranded in the tunnel but there is no report of any casualty so far.

"A snow avalanche hit Jawahar tunnel and has blocked both tubes of the tunnel from Qazigund side," a police official said, adding the avalanche forced suspension of traffic movement on the arterial road connecting Kashmir to rest of the country. 

"Rescue operation has been launched to evacuate people stranded in the tunnel. Men and machinery are on job to clear the debris," the official said. 

Also Read | Heavy rain, thunderstorm lash Delhi-NCR; flights, trains delayed; traffic congestion in parts of national capital 

Helicopter and ropeway services at Vaishno Devi shrine were also suspended following inclement weather conditions.

Srinagar recorded minus 0.2 degrees Celsius while Pahalgam and Gulmarg recorded minus 0.2 and minus 4 degrees, respectively.

Kargil was coldest at minus 12.2, Drass town of Ladakh recorded minus 6.8, while Leh was warmer at 2.8 degrees Celsius.

Jammu city was at 8.7, Katra 6, Batote minus 2.1, Bannihal minus 0.1 and Bhaderwah was at minus 0.2.

Tourists started flocking to the hilly areas as news of the snowfall spread.

Shimla, which saw a low of minus 0.7 degree Celsius, recorded more than five cm of snowfall, while Kufri and Mashobra recorded more than 20 cm of snowfall each.

According to the Met Office, the snowy landscape in Shimla will stay this way for two-three days.

Reports said some of the areas in Jubbal, Narkanda and Kharapathar also experienced snow, hampering road network.

"High-altitude areas of Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba, Kullu, Kinnaur and Shimla districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snow," the official said.

Meanwhile, widespread rainfall was experienced in most parts of Punjab and Haryana on Tuesday. Temperatures are likely to fall further due to snowfall in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, the Met said.

Chandigarh and its surrounding areas experienced light rain since Monday evening. There was winds accompanying it. The Met Department has predicted rainfall over the region in the next 48 hours till Thursday.

In Punjab, rains lashed Amritsar, Jalandhar, Hoshiapur, Kapurthala and some other districts starting Monday afternoon. The showers have continued on Tuesday. Moderate to strong winds accompany the rain.

A few of the places in Punjab even experienced hailstorm in the past 12 hours.

Amritsar, which recorded a maximum temperature of 14.7 degrees Celsius on Monday, saw some relief from rain briefly Tuesday morning. Residents said that the cold wave has returned to the city.

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