Three dead as Valley receives seasons first snowfall

Srinagar district has recorded the coldest October day since 1982

Srinagar: Three persons were killed while apple orchards suffered extensive damage as parts of Kashmir received snowfall and plains were lashed by heavy rains on Saturday, leading to the early onset of winter-like conditions.
The snowfall and rains, which started late on Friday night, triggered a mudslide that hit a tent set up by nomads in Noorpora in the Tral area of Pulwama district, leaving three persons, including two women dead, and one critically injured, officials said.
The nomads belonged to Reasi district in the Jammu division, they added.
The officials said moderate snowfall was recorded in Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Pahalgam, Shopian and Gurez areas of the Valley.
Minamarg and Drass in Ladakh also received snowfall since Friday night, they added.
The officials said light snowfall was been reported from some areas in Pulwama and Kulgam districts, while some areas in the plains, including summer capital Srinagar, received sleet.
They said Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district received about five inches of snowfall from the morning till 2.30 pm, while Sonamarg resort in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district recorded seven inches of snowfall.
The snowfall has caused extensive damage to apple orchards in some areas of the valley, especially in Shopian and Kulgam districts in south Kashmir where most of the horticulture produce was yet to be harvested.
According to details Pahalgam, Kokernag and Qazigund have received highest 24 hour rainfall in a decade with officials in the Meteorological (MeT) department informing that Srinagar recorded 31.6 mm of rainfall from 08:30 PM on Friday to 08:30 AM Saturday while Pahalgam, Kokernag and Qazigund recorded 43.2 mm, 50.2 and 58.4 mm rainfall respectively in the 24 hours.
With this, the four places in the Valley have received the highest 24 hour rainfall in a decade.
Srinagar, as per the data compiled by the MeT department from 2011 to 2020, had recorded the highest 24 hour rainfall on October 08, 2014 at 23.6 mm.
The data also reads that Pahalgam had recorded the highest 24 hour rainfall on October 20, 2015 at 40.0 mm while Kokernag had recorded 43.5 mm on October 20, 2015 and Qazigund 30.1 mm on October 08, 2014.
Till today morning, Pahalgam as per the officials received 43.2 mm rain and 5.6cm snowfall while Qazigund received 58.4 mm and Kokernag received 50.2 mm of rainfall.
Meanwhile, the temperature has plummeted across the Valley with officials saying that Srinagar recorded lowest day temperature today in the month of October.
Director Meteorological department, Sonum Lotus informed that Srinagar district has recorded the coldest October day since 1982.
In Srinagar, the mercury settled at 6.6 degree Celsius on Saturday, the MeT officials said.
Moreover, the higher reaches of Kashmir received fresh snowfall while rains lashed plains. The inclement weather conditions also resulted in closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway, Mughal road and Sonamarg-Zojila road. The authorities have also decided to keep the vital roads closed for the traffic for tomorrow as well.
Several parts of Kashmir including the world famous ski-resort, Gulmarg, world famous tourist resort Pahalgam, Shopian, Gurez, Zojila and others received fresh snowfall in the intervening night of Friday-Saturday.
An official in the Meteorological department informed that the rains have also lashed J&K plains since last night.
The official informed that there is a possibility of more rains and snow till Sunday as the Western Disturbance as per the forecast has affected J&K.
“The weather conditions would start gradually improving from tomorrow afternoon and the dry weather is expected to continue till November 02, 2021,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the prevalent weather conditions have also forced the authorities to close the vital roads in Jammu and Kashmir as precautionary measures.
CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami has expressed concern over the losses caused to orchardists by the untimely snowfall and demanded immediate compensation for them.
A large number of fruit-bearing trees are reported to have suffered damages due to unseasonal snowfall, witnessed in several parts of Kashmir valley. Reportedly 50 percent fruit crop was yet to be harvested in twin districts of Shopian and Kulgam. There should be an immediate assessment of losses suffered by the orchardists, Tarigami said in a statement.
He said the government must depute expert teams to assess the losses, especially in south Kashmir which has been the worst hit.
He also expressed grief over the death of three members of a nomadic family in Tral.
Meanwhile, heavy rainfall has been going on in Srinagar and other plains of the valley since Friday night, the officials said.
The rainfall has caused water-logging in many areas of the city.
The meteorological department said the present weather condition would most likely continue till Saturday night.
Expect gradual decrease in rain/snow from evening. Heavy rain is most likely to continue especially in south Kashmir, Chenab valley, Pirpanjal, Reasi, Poonch, Rajouri etc. Precipitation is decreasing gradually from north Kashmir, it said.
A police spokesman said that amid the inclement weather, Police have carried out rescue operations after receiving distress calls and rescued many nomadic families comprising of 34 members along with their live stock who were stuck at higher reaches of Budgam and Shopian.
In Budgam, Police received a distress call for assistance that some nomad families are stuck at higher reaches of Nagbal Yousmarg due to heavy snowfall and imminent apprehensions of snow avalanche.
Acting Swiftly, Police party launched a rescue operation and rescued four families comprising of 16 members alongwith the live stock and later shifted temporarily to Government High School Nagbal, a police spokesman said.
Similarly, Shopian Police also received a distress call that nomadic families putting up in tents got stuck due to the heavy snowfall and there are apprehensions of snow avalanche at the higher reaches of Neelinad Shahdab Karawa Shopian.
Acting swiftly, a Police team rushed to the spot and rescued the stuck families comprising of 18 members alongwith the live stock. The rescued nomads were shifted temporarily to the under construction Government High School Shadab Karawa. (with inputs from KNO, PTI)

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