Cold wave shows no sign of relenting in Kashmir

The cold wave in the Valley showed no signs of letting off with the Dal Lake and other water bodies partially freezing even as the state government activated district snow control rooms with snowfall expected in the next two days.

The cold wave in the Valley shows no sign of relenting as the minimum temperature recorded in most parts is several degrees below normal.

A MeT office spokesman said the minimum temperature recorded in Srinagar was minus 5.9 degrees Celsius. Pahalgam and Gulmarg recorded night temperatures of minus 6.4 degrees C and minus 6.0 degrees C respectively.

The unusually freezing temperatures have resulted in partial freezing of Dal Lake and several other water bodies in the Valley.

The cold wave in Ladakh region, which falls in Kashmir division, also intensified with night temperature in Leh falling to minus 16 degrees Celsius and nearby Kargil recording minus 12.0 degrees Celsius.

"In view of the western disturbances approaching Jammu and Kashmir, light to moderate snowfall is expected at isolated parts of the Valley in the evening," Aamir Ali, coordinator at the Natural Disaster Management Cell, said.

"All the Deputy Commissioners of the 10 districts of the Valley have been instructed to activate the snow control rooms today to meet any eventuality," the official said.

Ali said 75 snow clearance machines have been kept ready across the Valley to ensure that road links are not snapped in case of heavy snowfall.

"We have 27 snow clearance machines in central Kashmir Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts, while 26 machines are available in north Kashmir and 22 machines in south Kashmir," he said.

The Dal Lake had completely frozen twice in the last 50 years -- in 1964 and 1986.

While the mercury fell as below as minus nine degrees C in 1986, it had dipped to minus 13 degrees in 1964. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Kashmir has been minus 14.4 degrees Celsius on January 31, 1893.

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