Unseasonal snowfall in parts of Kashmir brought back the winter-like conditions in the Valley while several incidents of tourists and nomadic people getting stuck due to inclement weather were also reported, officials said.
Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg and Qazigund areas of the Valley received snowfall early in the morning, making the roads slippery, the officials said.
The weatherman has forecast improvement in weather conditions over the next 24 hours but warned of the possibility of cloudburst or lightning on Tuesday evening.
The day temperature has dropped to around 12 degrees Celsius against the normal of 24 degrees Celsius, the MeT officials said.
While the tourists were in for a pleasant surprise over the snowfall, the inclement weather caused hardships for the locals.
The unseasonal snowfall led to many nomadic people and their livestock getting stuck. More than 250 sheep were rescued by police and municipal officials at Kurigam in Qazigund area of the Kulgam district after the animals were stuck on an island due to a sudden rise in the water level of a local stream, they said.
The officials said several nomadic families were moved to safer places in the upper reaches of the district, they said.
A group of eight tourists including women and children were rescued by police near Jawahar Tunnel in Qazigund after their vehicle was stuck in snowfall in the early hours of the day, the officials said.
Rainfall over the past 24 hours in most parts of the Valley, and snowfall in some areas, has sent the mercury plummeting and people had to pull out their winter clothes again.
Schools Closed In 3 Districts
A report from Jammu said all schools for students up to class 8 in Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar districts were closed on Monday due to heavy rains.
Fresh snowfall was experienced in the upper reaches of Kishtwar, Doda, Reasi and Ramban districts of the Jammu region while heavy rains hit several other districts.
In view of the flooding situation triggered by heavy rains, schools were closed by authorities in Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar districts.
“All schools, both government and private, up to the middle level (Class 8) in Ramban district shall remain closed today in view of heavy rains,” said Ramban Deputy Commissioner Mussarat Islam.
Traffic continued to ply as usual on Jammu-Srinagar national highway despite inclement weather in several sectors, officials said.
Fresh snowfall was witnessed in Marwah, Wardwan, Dacchan, Simpathan of Kishtwar and Mahu Mangat area of Ramban, upper reaches of Doda and Reasi districts, they said.
Due to fresh snowfall, a cold wave condition was triggered in the region.
“Due to prevailing weather conditions, Sinthan and Margan road in Kishtwar district shall remain closed today. General public requested not to venture out un-necessarily near rivers and nallas”, a district advisory said.
Dozens of nomads along with over 70 cattle were rescued from Margan’s top area by the army and police as they were trapped in the fresh snowfall, they said.
Some nomadic families along with cattle are stuck up in Mahoo and Khari belts in Banihal, they said.
The fresh snowfall has badly affected the agriculture and horticulture sectors in the region, they said.
The plain area witnessed heavy rains in various districts of the region. In Banihal, 40.2 mm of rainfall was experienced during the past 24 hours, they said.
As a precautionary measure amid the ongoing rains, the administration has ordered for closure of all the schools, government and private included, in the district, officials said.
However, if there are any exams, those shall be held as per schedule, they said. Schools were also shut in Kishtwar district, they said.