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Kashmir cut off from rest of India


Srinagar : Driving rains and snow lashed Kashmir since Wednesday night, cutting the valley off from the rest of the country due to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu highway.

Strong winds swept Srinagar city for most of Thursday, blowing off roofs, toppling hoardings and snapping trees.

The meteorological department has forecast more rains and snow till Saturday.

Various parts of the valley including Baramulla and Kupwara in north Anantnag and Shopian districts in south experienced heavy snowfall.

The higher reaches of Kupwara district witnessed heavy snowfall since Thursday morning, and the precipitation was on when reports last came in.

Reports said that in north many areas were cut off from district headquarters because of roadblocks.

Bus service on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road was also suspended.

Five feet of snow had been recorded on the Sadhna pass, reports said.

Most tourist resorts, including Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Doodhpathri, Tangmarg, Baba Reshi and Sonamarg were blanketed by snow.

Gulmarg received 2.5 feet of fresh snow, while Kongdori and Afarwat recorded five feet of snow bringing cheer to hundreds of skiers.

Sonamarg and the areas along the Srinagar-Ladakh highway came under nearly three feet of snow.

The Srinagar-Jammu highway was closed for traffic by authorities at five in the afternoon when snowfall intensified on both sides of the 3 km long Jawahar Tunnel that links Kashmir valley with rest of India.

Reports said hundreds of vehicles were stranded on the dangerous Panthal stretch where landslides could be triggered off if the rains continued.