Early season snowstorm isolates Kashmir valley, causes massive power outage, India

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Northern India has experienced violent start to winter season 2018/19 over the past couple of days with 1st snowfall of the season disrupting power supply, road links and isolating Kashmir valley. The region typically sees its first snowfall between the months of December and February

At least 700 people were evacuated from Jawhar Tunnel and Sonmarg, stranded due to inclement weather and snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir, authorities reported November 4, 2018.

Over 1 000 civilians were provided food and shelter in Banihal while Kashmir valley remains cut off from the rest of the country for the second day on November 4 after heavy snowfall led to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

According to local media, heavy snowfall has caused tremendous damage to the power supply infrastructure, leading to a massive power outage. 

The northern city of Srinagar typically sees its first snowfall much later, usually between the months of December and February.

Srinagar experienced massive power outage after receiving just 76 mm (3 inches) of snow, The Times of India reports. The Valley received just 80 MWs power supply after the snowfall, as against the normal 1 150 MWs supplied on Saturday morning, November 3 power development department chief engineer Hashmat Qazi said.

The government has formed an inquiry committee to ascertain the reasons for widespread disruption of electricity, divisional commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan said Sunday.

Khan added that snowfall had uprooted trees, which fell on power lines at several places, causing a power outage. He assured that electricity supply was restored in almost all parts of the Valley except some areas of South Kashmir districts.

The minimum temperatures across Kashmir Valley also remained below freezing point with Gulmarg being the coldest at -5 °C (23 °F), followed by Kargil at -4.6 °C (23.7 °F), Leh at -1.5 °C (29.3 °F) and Pahalgam at -0.5 °C (31.1 °F).

Intense thunderstorms swept over parts of Jammu and Kashmir early November 5, killing hundreds of goats and sheeps in All Mangota area Thanamandi village.

Featured image credit: The Times of India

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