A man removing snow from a car during the first snowfall of the season in Gulmarg. While the snowfall has been moderate in the plains of Kashmir, the upper reaches have witnessed heavy snowfall.
© ANI
A man removing snow from a car during the first snowfall of the season in Gulmarg. While the snowfall has been moderate in the plains of Kashmir, the upper reaches have witnessed heavy snowfall.
Normal life paralysed, power lines down after 16 hours of incessant snowfall

Seven people were killed as 16 hours of incessant snowfall paralysed life in the Kashmir valley on Thursday. Surface as well as air traffic was completely disrupted.

This season's first heavy snowfall started on Wednesday night and continued all day on Thursday. It triggered avalanches at many places in the valley and turned the narrow tracks on the hill slopes dangerously slippery.

Traffic on all major highways connecting the valley to the rest of the country, including the Srinagar-Jammu Highway, the Srinagar-Poonch Highway and the Srinagar-Kargil Highway, was completely disrupted. Around 2,000 vehicles were left stranded on these highways, officials said.



No flights

No flight was able to land or take off from the Srinagar airport due to accumulation of snow on the runway, and low visibility, officials said. Srinagar city saw major traffic gridlocks due to snow accumulation and slippery roads. The State capital recorded over one-feet of snowfall and the upper reaches of Kupwara, Shopian, Ganderbal and Baramulla recorded 3-4 ft of snowfall.


An official said two Army porters were swept by snow avalanches during the night. Their bodies were recovered on Thursday. They were identified as Mohammed Isaac and Manzoor Khan, both residents of Kupwara's Zihama village.

Two solders also died when their vehicle met with an accident in Kupwara's Langate area due to poor visibility, officials added.
"Around 90 houses were damaged due to snowfall in Kupwara," said Deputy Commissioner Anshul Garg.

One employee of the Power Development Department, Manzoor Ahmed, fell from an electricity pole during snowfall, and another civilian died after being hit by a tree branch in Srinagar's Hazratbal and Habak areas, respectively. Another civilian, Ghulam Jeelani, died in Pulwama's Lashipora area when he was clearing snow from a roof and slipped to the ground.

People walk on a snow-covered road during the first snowfall of the season in Gulmarg. Kashmir witnessed its first snowfall of the season, plunging the mercury to sub-zero in Gulmarg and bringing woes galore.
© ANI
People walk on a snow-covered road during the first snowfall of the season in Gulmarg. Kashmir witnessed its first snowfall of the season, plunging the mercury to sub-zero in Gulmarg and bringing woes galore as major disruptions are reported on roads, in power supply, besides air traffic being hit.
Lines damaged

Snow has inflicted major damage to electricity lines, both 35,000 KV and 11,000 KV, resulting in complete block out of electricity across the valley.

"Snow has damaged the electric power infrastructure in the valley. Power lines have been downed by tree branches. We would require 3-4 hours after snow stops to restore the power supply. We are hopeful to start the restoration in a phased manner from Friday forenoon," Chief Engineer Qazi Hafhmat of the Power Development Department said.


According to officials, all major government-run hospitals in Srinagar have decided to postpone scheduled surgeries on Friday, if electricity is not restored. Kashmir University and the Islamic University of Science and Technology have postponed their examination schedules for Friday.

The Meteorological Department's Director in-charge Mukhtar Ahmad said snow will continue till late midnight on Thursday and the weather was likely to improve by Friday forenoon.

A boatman clears snow from his boat during the first snowfall in Srinagar
© ANI
A boatman clears snow from his boat during the first snowfall in Srinagar