Kashmir remained cut-off from the rest of the country for the second day on Thursday with road and air links to the Valley snapped due to snowfall, the heaviest in a decade in the month of January.
The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic, while no flights operated from the airport here following heavy snowfall on Wednesday. However, there were no reports of fresh snowfall from any part of the Valley during the night.
“The national highway is closed for traffic on Thursday. No vehicle will be allowed to ply on the road,” a Traffic Department spokesman said in Srinagar.
He said the 294-km arterial highway -- the only road-link between Kashmir Valley and the rest of the country -- was being cleared of snow and could be made motorable later in the day.
No flights to and fro Srinagar Airport operated on Wednesday due to continuous snowfall. However, there are chances of the airport being made operational in the afternoon.
“No flight to and fro Srinagar Airport operated in the morning. But there is a possibility of flights operating in the afternoon,” an official of the Airport Authority of India said.
The Valley received a fresh spell of snowfall yesterday, which was the heaviest in the month of January in the last 10 years.
The snowfall had resulted in slightly improving the minimum temperatures, which brought a much-needed respite to the residents from the intense cold.
However, the mercury dropped across the Valley and Ladakh region last night, with Srinagar recording a low of 0.1 degree Celsius as against 0.2 degree Celsius the previous night, an official of the MET Department said.
South Kashmir towns of Qazigund and Kokernag recorded the minimum temperatures of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius and minus 5.0 degrees Celsius, respectively.
The mercury in the tourist resort of Pahalgam, also in south Kashmir, plummeted by over nine degrees from the previous night’s low of minus 1.0 degrees Celsius, to settle at a minimum of minus 10.3 degrees Celsius last night.
The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg registered a low of minus 7.6 degrees Celsius as against minus 3.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Kupwara, in north Kashmir, recorded a low of 0.3 degree Celsius, she said.
She said Leh, in the frontier region of Ladakh, recorded a low of minus 7.1 degrees Celsius compared to minus 5.2 degrees the previous night.
The MeT Department has said light to moderate rains or snowfall could occur at few places in the state over the next 24 hours, however, there would be decrease in precipitation over the next few days.