Qazikund (Jammu and Kashmir)/ Mumbai/ New Delhi, Feb 9 : At least 17 people have been killed and several others injured in five separate incidents of snow avalanches in Jammu and Kashmir.
Rescue teams of the Jammu and Kashmir police, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Rashtriya Rifles have so far rescued 34 people who were trapped under a snow avalanche at Gulab Bagh in Qazigund.
The police have been asked by the Inspector General of Police (Jammu Zone), S P Vaid, to shift the people from avalanche-prone areas to safer places in the Jammu division.
Meanwhile, eighty passengers were airlifted by the Indian Air Force today from Udhampur. The passengers were stranded in Udhampur for the last five days after J-K national highway was closed due to heavy snowfall and landslides," official said.
The 329-kilometers-long Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remains closed for the seventh consecutive day due to heavy snowfall in the region.
Serpentine queues of trucks along the routes are a common sight, as stranded drivers and passengers complained of a lack of drinking water, food and shelter.
"I have been stranded here since the February 3rd and nobody from the administration has come. We have to trek at least 2 kilometers to fetch water. Kerosene is available at rupees 30 per litre. We have heard that one driver has expired and around 400 to 500 trucks are stranded here,' said Harminder, a stranded truck driver.
Meanwhile, mercury levels in Mumbai dipped to a low of 9 degrees Celsius, the lowest in the last 40 years.
"I've been in Mumbai for the last 50 years, but in my life this is the coldest season in city," said a resident.he minimum temperature in New Delhi also fell by around four degrees to 5.6 degrees Celsius today. he weatherman has predicted that temperatures might fall further on Sunday.
A western disturbance over northwest India had led to a rise in the temperature in the past four days, giving some respite from the intense cold.