Kashmir Valley cut off due to fresh snowfall

Srinagar, Jan 22: Fresh snowfall was recorded in many areas, especially in the higher reaches of Kashmir, leading to the closure of Srinagar-Jammu national highway, even as more wet weather has been forecast over the next few days.

The Meteorological Department has forecast scattered rains or snow today, fairly widespread rains or snow tomorrow, widespread rains or snow over three days from January 24-26 and scattered rains or snow a day after.

Many parts of the Valley experienced fresh snowfall last night with the plains, including Srinagar, witnessing light snow in the wee hours, a MeT official here said. 

He said there were reports of snowfall in many areas, especially in the higher reaches of Kashmir, including in the areas along Srinagar-Jammu national highway in the Valley. 

Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded 4 cm of fresh snowfall during the last 24 hours, while Pahalgam hill resort recorded 13 cm of fresh snow.

Srinagar recorded 0.8 cm of fresh snowfall, the official said.

Fresh snowfall in the areas along the arterial road, the only all-weather road-link connecting Kashmir Valley with the rest of the country, forced its closure.

"The national highway has been closed for traffic due to slippery conditions on the road at many places because of the snowfall," an official of the Traffic Department told PTI.

One-way traffic on the highway was scheduled to ply from Srinagar to Jammu today but the vehicles were stopped near Qazigund as the road was slippery, he said. 

The MeT official said the region is likely to be hit by a fresh western disturbance today.

The forecast of wet weather for almost a week has prompted the divisional administration to issue directions for taking precautionary measures.