NEW DELHI, Jan 26 (PTI): Ten soldiers were killed and four are missing in two avalanches that hit Gurez Sector of Kashmir, as the Valley today remained cut off from the rest of the country while normal life was affected in Himachal Pradesh due to snowfall.
A high-danger avalanche warning was again issued today for some avalanche-prone slopes of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, while rains lashed parts of the northern plains affecting train and flight services.
Heavy rains lashed the national capital on the Republic Day, with 25 north-bound trains running late while 10 other were rescheduled and three cancelled due to bad weather.
According to Delhi Airport website, flight operations was severely affected due to bad weather with most of the flights failing to depart or arrive on scheduled time.
The maximum temperature in Delhi came down to 18 degrees Celsius, four notches below the season's average. Heavy overcast conditions had plunged the city into near darkness during afternoon hours.
According to Safdarjung observatory, the recording of which is considered the official figure for the city, Delhi received 23.7 mm rainfall between 8.30 AM and 5.30 PM, a MeT department official said.
An avalanche hit an army camp in Gurez sector of Bandipora district near the Line of Control last evening in which several soldiers were trapped. Rescue operations were launched and seven soldiers including a Junior Commissioned Officer were saved, the army official said.
"Bodies of three soldiers were retrieved his morning," he said, adding another avalanche hit a patrol party which was on its way to a post in Gurez sector last evening.
"Rescue teams have so far retrieved seven bodies from the spot of the incident," the official said.
Yesterday, an officer was killed an avalanche at Sonamarg in central Kashmir's Ganderbal district while four members of a family died in another avalanche in Gurez sector yesterday.
The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic and all flights to Srinagar Airport were cancelled due to snowfall.
The opening of Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only all-weather road link between Kashmir and the rest of the country, seems unlikely today in view of inclement weather with snowfall being reported at some places en route.
"All flights which were scheduled to arrive at and take off from Srinagar airport have been cancelled," Director Srinagar Airport Sharad Kumar said.
Meanwhile, most parts of Kashmir Division, including Ladakh, continued to reel under subzero temperatures with Leh being the coldest recorded place. The minimum temperature in Leh was minus 3.6 degrees Celsius.