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Weather to improve significantly on Sunday: Weatherman

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40 flights cancelled; Jmu-Srinagar NHW closed, to remain shut on Sunday too

Srinagar: As the snowfall and rains continued overnight and during the day on Saturday, weatherman has predicted gradual decrease in the intensity of the precipitation by evening and significant improvement in weather by Sunday morning.

The officials said while light to moderate snowfall was recorded in plains of Kashmir, moderate to heavy fall, with very heavy at isolated places, was recorded in the higher reaches of the valley.

Srinagar city recorded around four inches of fresh snowfall, Gulmarg around a feet of fresh snow, Qazigund town in south around eight inches, Shopian about 15 inches.

Some places also received heavy rains.

All scheduled flights were cancelled on Saturday due to reduced visibility at the airport here, snapping air link between Kashmir and rest of the country, officials said.

The snowfall, which started late in the afternoon on Friday, continued through the day at most places in the Kashmir valley, they said.

“All the 40 flights scheduled to operate at the Srinagar airport had to be cancelled due to snowfall,” an official of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) said.

He said that snowfall had reduced visibility to less than 600 metres at the airport.

The official advised passengers to reschedule their flights, which, he said, will be done by airlines free of cost. “The passengers are entitled to full refund if they decide to cancel their journey,” he said.

The air traffic to and from Kashmir has been badly affected over the past few days with a large number or flights getting cancelled due to poor visibility.

As for the update on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, which was closed on Friday afternoon, officials said that due to landslides there was no traffic movement on the highway.

While the road is through from Udhampur to Chenani/Nashri, from Nashri to Banihal it is completely blocked due to landslides mainly at Cafeteria Morh, Sita Ram Passi Maroge, Chanderkote and shooting stones at multiple locations, said the officials.

The Traffic Police has issued an advisory saying there would be no vehicular traffic, to and fro, on Jammu-Srinagar Highway on Sunday.

“Tomorrow vehicular movement on Jammu-Srinagar NHW will remain suspended as the heavey rains and snowfall has triggered larg scale shooting stones activity, landslides and slippery road conditions on the NH 44. The Highway is blocked at many places,” the advisory said.

Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri Road, Mughal Road, Kishtwar-Sinthan Road and Srinagar-Leh highway also will remain closed on Sunday.

The snowfall also affected the supply of electricity in some areas, even as the officials said the work on the restoration was going on.

Broadband and fiber internet lines were also snapped at many places in the city here, and service providers were not taking any technician visit requests due to the snowfall, the officials said.

They said the restoration requests would be resumed on Sunday.

The snow clearance was tardy at many places in the city and elsewhere as many residents complained that snow was yet to be cleared from several areas.

Meanwhile, Srinagar recorded the minimum temperature of 0.2 degrees Celsius last night, the officials said.

They said Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, while Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 0.2 degrees Celsius.

Qazigund recorded the minimum of zero degrees Celsius, while the nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.9 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

The mercury in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of zero degrees Celsius.

The meteorological office has said significant improvement in weather is likely from Sunday morning, after which it is likely to stay mainly dry over the next few days.

Photo/ Farhat Naik

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