M A I N   N E W S

Fresh snow sets off avalanches
Jammu-Srinagar highway closed again
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Jammu, February 15
Having remained open for a couple of hours, the 300-km Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed again today following fresh snowfall and landslides. More than 400 vehicles were stranded on the highway.

Avalanches were reported at two places, while shooting stones around Ramsoo and Shaitani Nullah caused problems for travellers.

Forty jawans of the BSF, ITBP, CRPF and the IRP had a miraculous escape when an avalanche occurred near Jawahar Tunnel while they were engaged in relief operations.

The Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) has predicted more avalanches on the highway.

The highway had been thrown open to one way traffic yesterday after having remained closed for eight days. More than 3,500 passengers were being provided shelter and food by the Army.

Earlier in the day, over 400 vehicles were allowed to move towards Jammu from Srinagar, sources said.

Over 3,000 vehicles crossed towards Kashmir from Jammu yesterday after eight days of closure of the highway.

Meanwhile, moderate to heavy snowfall lashed high altitudes and mountain ranges surrounding the Kashmir valley while plains received rains coupled with snow this morning.

Reports of snowfall were also received from Qazigund on the Srinagar-Jammu highway and health resorts of Pahalgam, Tangmarg, Gulmarg, Sonmarg and Yousmarg.

SHIMLA: Normal life in the hill state was thrown out of gear following a fresh round of snow and rain.

The upper areas of Shimla, Shali Tibba and Fagu also had a mild snowfall. Mount Jakhu, the highest peak had 5 cm of snowfall. The lower areas had sleet and rain. The people reeled under extreme cold as strong icy winds lashed the region throughout the day causing mercury to dip sharply.

Dauladhar ranges overlooking the Kangra valley also experienced heavy snow. The minimum temperature in the tribal areas continues to hover around minus 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. At noon the minimum temperature at Shimla was 1.2 degrees Celsius.

CHANDIGARH: The northwest plains of Punjab and Haryana were lashed by moderate to heavy rains.

The city and its surrounding areas of Punjab and Haryana received over 5 mm rainfall, while the day temperatures here remained above normal, according to the weather office here.

The other main towns of the two states which received rainfall included Amritsar (5 mm), Ludhiana (3.2 mm), Hisar (4.8 mm) and Karnal (0.5 mm).

Delhi also received 2.4 mm rainfall this morning.


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