Snow at Vaishno Devi shrine, highway blocked due to heavy snowfall in Kashmir Valley
The cave shrine of Vaishno Devi in the Trikuta Hills of Jammu region received snowfall on Friday, while the Kashmir Valley woke up to a white mantle of snow as it received the third snowfall this season, causing the blockade of highways.
Officials said it began snowing in the shrine area around 8pm on Thursday and there has been intermittent snowfall since then. “More than a feet of snow has accumulated in the area and covered the yatra track and pilgrim sheds,” a police official said. The Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board authorities have pressed employees into service to clear the snow but the inclement weather has affected the pilgrim footfall with few turning up at the base camp in Katra.
Drass and Kargil in the Union Territory of Ladakh also received heavy snowfall.
“It will snow till Friday evening. The weather will start improving from Saturday,” said Sonam Lotus, director, meteorological department, Kashmir.
“It’s snowing at the Jawahar Tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway. The highway has been blocked by landslides and shooting stones triggered by snow and incessant rains. The road was closed for traffic on Thursday evening,” Lotus said.
Many trucks are stranded on the highway, but they have been halted in safe zones.