India – Heavy Snowfall (ECHO Daily Flash of 17 March 2014)

  • Several days of consecutive heavy snowfall have resulted in the deaths of 17 people in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Over 100 people have been evacuated to safety as the unprecedented snowfall triggered avalanches and damaged over 600 buildings in various districts of the state, Kupwara being the most affected.

  • The snowfall has paralysed normal life across the Kashmir Valley, cutting its single road and rail link with the rest of India, and disrupting power and water supplies.

  • As of 14 March, flights and train services had resumed, but the main highway remained closed. The country's weather agency, India Meteorological Department (IMD), issued a heavy rain/ snow warning for 15 and 16 March for the state; snow and rainfall is forecast to continue at isolated places in the state until 18 March.