SASE issues avalanche warning in Kashmir

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Feb 2: After forecast of snowfall and freak weather till Friday, Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) today issued avalanche warning for higher reaches of North Kashmir and asked people not to venture out in hilly areas.
The SASE has said that there is Medium Danger Avalanche warning for higher reaches of Drass, Kargil, Keran and Machil. “People living in these hilly areas have been cautioned not to venture into avalanche prone areas”, the warning adds.
The Director Meteorological Department, Sonum Lotus, told Excelsior that weather across the State will remain freak till Friday. “Heavy snowfall and rains are expected on Monday across the State”, he said adding it has already started snowing in the higher reaches of North Kashmir along the Line of Control (LoC).
Lotus said that freak weather will continue till Friday and there will be intermittent snow and rainfall in the State during these days with heavy precipitation on Monday. He said that weather will improve by Friday.
This would be first snowfall in Kashmir after the end of Chile Kalan, the 40 day chilliest part of winter that ended on January 30.
MeT officials said that there was a slight relief from cold till Friday as night temperatures will show improvement.
Authorities in Kashmir who were criticised for their slow response to the snowfall during this season, reviewed preparedness for the fresh precipitation and have put around 236 snow cutters ready for snow clearance.
The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Shailendra Kumar, held review meeting with the various departmental heads of Kashmir valley to ensure that snowfall does not cause much in-connivance to the people.
The officials of the Mechanical Engineering Department said that they have kept 103 snow cutters ready for snow clearance while Beacon authority is pressing 133 snow clearance machines into service for clearing snow on the highway besides 3 cranes have been kept available for towing stranded vehicles on the highway.
The SMC were asked to ensure clearance of snow from all lanes and by-lanes in the Srinagar district and gear up its men and machinery for dewatering of inundated areas of the district.
The Deputy Commissioner Kulgam has got people from Waltengoo Nar and Mirasi Nalla vulnerable areas evacuated.