40 fights cancelled as whiteout forces closure of Sgr-Jmu, other roads in Kashmir

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Avalanche hits Poonch village, mother-daughter duo rescued; MeT predicts improvement in weather conditions from tomorrow; 750 trucks, 40 LMVs stranded on highway, says SSP national highway

Srinagar, Jan 08 : For the second consecutive day on Saturday, Kashmir parts including Srinagar continued to receive fresh snowfall, resulting in cancelation of 40 flights scheduled at Srinagar international airport and also the continuous closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway where almost 750 Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) and 40 Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) are stranded as well.

Kashmir parts including Srinagar received moderate snowfall after the meteorological department (MeT) here issued ‘Red alert’ and predicted heavy to very heavy snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir till January 08 evening.

The MeT officials said whole Kashmir experienced fresh snowfall, which has brought the mercury down.

The maximum temperature in Srinagar settled at 2.9 degree Celsius while Gulmarg was coldest today as the temperature at the world famous ski-resort settled at minus 1.2 degree Celsius.

The MeT has predicted improvement in the weather conditions from tomorrow morning.

Moreover, as predicted, the surface and air traffic got affected due to the fresh snow spell in Kashmir.

Director Srinagar Airport, Kuldeep Singh told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the poor visibility has hampered the flight operations at Srinagar airport today.

He informed that 40 flights scheduled for today have been cancelled.

Meanwhile, the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only road connecting the Valley with the rest of the States, was closed for vehicular movement as a precautionary measure following the landslides and slippery conditions of the road.

Senior superintendent of Police (SSP), National Highway, Shabir Ahmad Malik informed KNO that at least 750 trucks are stranded along the highway as vehicular movement was suspended along the road in wake of the landslides. The trucks were on way to Srinagar.

He further said that around 30-40 Light Motor Vehicles (LMV) are stranded in Ramban as well.

The other roads including Srinagar-Leh, Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri, Mughal road also remained closed for the traffic.

Moreover, the administration had pressed men and machinery since the wee hours of this morning to clear the roads.

Meanwhile, a mother-daughter duo was rescued after they got trapped under snow after an avalanche hit Poonch village.

The incident took place in Manahi village of Surankote Tehsil of Poonch district when a snow avalanche hit the area and a woman along with her daughter got trapped under snow.

“They were going to a natural water spring to fetch drinking water when an avalanche hit the area and got trapped under the snow,” the locals said, adding that the villagers launched a rescue operation soon after the incident and succeeded in tracking both of them from under the snow and shifted them to safer places.

“They are stable now and properly responding,” the villagers further said and identified the duo as Nasreen Akhter wife of Arif Ahmed and her daughter Zahira