Temps plummet, Srinagar records season’s lowest at -7.7

Boys playing cricket on frozen interiors of Dal lake in Srinagar. —Excelsior/Shakeel
Boys playing cricket on frozen interiors of Dal lake in Srinagar. —Excelsior/Shakeel

DHSK issues health advisory

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, Dec 28: As cold wave tightened its grip in Kashmir with temperatures plummeting further and Srinagar settling at season’s lowest at minus 7.7 degree Celsius today, the Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir (DHSK) issued a health advisory asking people to take precautions in these extreme weather conditions.
Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season at minus 7.7 degree Celsius leading to freezing of water bodies including the world famous Dal lake. Children were seen playing cricket in the interiors of the Dal lake where the layer of the ice was thick due to continued dry and cold weather conditions over past few weeks.
As the temperatures plummeted further today, the water tapes and pipes remained frozen leading to water crisis across the region. At places, pipes were leaking as they burst due to freezing. Naveed Ahmad of Rajbagh said that they had no water in the morning and got bottled water for cooking and washing.
The electricity playing hide and seek made the lives of people miserable in the region in these cold weather conditions. Javed Ahmad, a resident of Hyderpora area of Srinagar said that they hardly get 10-11 hours of power supply daily besides frequent break downs.
Srinagar recorded at low minus 7.7 degree Celsius and the maximum temperature settled at 8.5 degree Celsius. Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 9.5 degree Celsius and the maximum day temperature of the tourist place settled at 6.8 degree Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Gulmarg was minus 9.3 degree Celsius while the maximum day temperature settled at 1.4 degree Celsius.
Leh recorded a minimum of minus 15.1 degree Celsius and maximum of minus 0.5 degree Celsius. The adjacent Kargil shivered at minus 16.2 degree Celsius while the maximum day temperature settled at minus 1.2 degree Celsius.
Jammu recorded 2.6 degree Celsius, Katra 3.2 degree Celsius, Batote minus 0.9 degree Celsius, Banihal 4.0 degree Celsius and Bhaderwah minus 2.7 degree Celsius as the night’s lowest temperature.
The maximum day temperatures of these places settled at 18.5 degree Celsius, 15.1 degree Celsius, 11.6 degree Celsius, 12.0 degree Celsius and 12.1 degree Celsius
The minimum temperature in Srinagar was recorded at minus 7.6 degree Celsius only yesterday and it was coldest since 1990 when temperatures plummeted to minus 8. 8 degree Celsius on December 7, 1990 in Srinagar.
A Meteorological Department official said that the minimum temperature will improve from December 31 (Monday), saying that the Valley would receive fresh snowfall or rainfall in the first week of January.
He said that the untimely snowfall in November and dry spell in December is the reason behind bone-chilling weather conditions in Kashmir. He said that once the wet spell begins, the temperature will start improving.
And as the cold wave intensified across Kashmir, the Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir (DHSK) issued a health advisory asking people to take measures to fight the biting cold.
The health advisory issued here read that elderly (more than 65 age group) and infants are at high risk during the cold weather conditions. “Wear warm clothes in layers. Wear a scarf, hat and gloves. Keep your hands and feet warm, avoid exertion in cold weather if you are suffering from heart disease or high blood pressure,” the advisory said.
The advisory said that the cold weather makes your heart work harder to keep the body warm besides leading to increased formation of clots leading to heart attack and stroke. “In case of chest pain contact doctor immediately, eat a balanced diet and drink frequent warm beverages (Kehwa), avoid alcohol, quit smoking, stay active indoors, do not sit for long periods of time, move around once every hour, if you are working outdoors, work slowly and take frequent breaks, avoid walking on ice and snow”, it added.
The advisory said that the extreme cold can led to hypothermia. “Confusion, shivering, difficulty in speaking, sleepiness, stiff muscles are the signs of it”, the advisory read.