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Heavy snow engulfs Jammu and Kashmir, cuts it off from the rest of the country, India


Heavy snow closed the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and Mughal Road on January 2, 2021, stranding nearly 4 500 vehicles. Though the road was cleared of landslides, snow on the north portal of Jawahar Tunnel in Lower Munda hampered the movement of traffic. Meanwhile, flight operations at Srinagar airport are suspended for the third consecutive day, leaving Kashmir cut off from the rest of the country.

The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed due to the heavy snow accumulation — up to 1 m (3 feet) — at many places, particularly around Jawahar Tunel, an official of the traffic control department said.

Nearly 4 500 vehicles, mostly trucks carrying essentials to the valley, were stranded along the 270 km (168 miles) road.

Around 2 500 vehicles were stranded between Udhampur and Ramban since Saturday evening, January 2, as well as 170 Srinagar-bound motor vehicles (LMV), 150 heavy vehicles besides 20 Jammu-bound LMVs. About 80 Srinagar-bound LMVS were trapped in Ramban and 50 HMVs in Chanderkot, while 190 Srinagar-bound tankers were stranded in Batote.

Though the road was cleared of landslides at Magerkot, Battery Chashma, Mom Passi, Marog, and Panthial in Ramban district, heavy snow on the north portal hampered the movement of traffic.

Hundreds of trucks from the avalanche-prone areas in Lower Munda were cleared and allowed to pass through the Jawahar Tunnel.

The National Highway Authority of India deployed crews and machinery to clear snow and debris from the affected stretches of the national highway.

Flight operations to and from Srinagar remained suspended for the third consecutive day on Tuesday due to poor visibility and heavy fresh snowfall, officials said.

Operations will resume only after the weather improves, they added.

"The runway has been cleared of snow but continuous heavy snowfall has led to flight operations being suspended due to poor visibility," an official of the Airport Authority of India told PTI.

The Meteorological office here has said moderate to heavy snowfall, with isolated very heavy snowfall, was most likely to take place until Wednesday morning.

Featured image credit: Delhi Tak/YouTube


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