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Air traffic to and fro Kashmir partially restored

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Srinagar: Air traffic to and fro Srinagar airport was partially restored on Saturday after remaining affected for nearly 24 hours due to snowfall, officials said.

While all flights in the morning were cancelled due to poor visibility and snow accumulation on the runway, five flights operated late in the afternoon as the weather improved, an airport official said.

The runway was cleared and the visibility improved, resulting in resumption of flight operations after nearly 24 hours, he said.

"Only five flights could operate on Saturday. Three landed at the airport on Saturday, while two were parked at the aerodrome since Friday," the official said.

All other flights were cancelled, he said.

Meanwhile, the heavy snowfall has led to closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and other road links, a spokesman of the Traffic Control Room here said.

He said Mughal Road, Srinagar-Leh National Highway and Bandipora-Gurez road were also closed for traffic.

Most places in Kashmir, including plains of the valley, received moderate to heavy snowfall overnight, officials of the MeT Department said.

The snowfall, which began in the late afternoon on Friday, continued in most parts of the valley this morning, they said, adding it is one of the heaviest snowfalls in the recent years in the plains of Kashmir.

Srinagar recorded 10 inches of snowfall till 8:30 in the morning and the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded two feet of fresh snow. While Qazigund recorded 11 inches, Kokernag three inches, Pahalgam 16 inches and Kupwara 17 inches of snow, the officials said.

The snowfall has also disrupted normal life and affected the movement of people and transport in Srinagar city and other districts of the valley.

However, road clearance operations have been undertaken by the respective district administrations across the valley since the morning.

Most areas of valley have been without electricity since last night, the officials said.

Owing to the snowfall, the night temperature in the valley rose last night providing relief to the residents from the intense cold conditions.

The mercury in Srinagar city, which had recorded a low of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius on the previous night, settled at a low of minus 1.3 degrees Celsius Friday night.

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