New Delhi: There seems no end to the intense cold being experienced by the people living in the Himalayan region. Met officials have predicted heavy snowfall in the next 48 hours in the mountains.

Conditions have worsened particularly in Jammu and Kashmir which is shivering under sub-zero temperatures. Heavy snowfall in the valley has blocked the Jammu-Srinagar Highway leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. Seeing the situation the Indian Air Force has been pressed into action to evacuate trapped people.

On the request of Jammu and Kashmir Government, IL-76 helicopters will reach Jammu from Chandigarh. These choppers will take stranded people from Jammu to Srinagar. Those stuck in the Kishtwar region of Jammu division will be rescued using MH-17 helicopters.

Defence spokesperson of Jammu SN Acharya said, “during the rescue operation in Kishtwar district by IAF, 282 stranded people will be rescued. However the operation can be delayed if the weather deteriorates.”

The Jammu-Srinagar national highway that was closed since Wednesday was reopened for one-way traffic on Friday evening.

Shimla and several parts of Himachal Pradesh on Friday received fresh snowfall, throwing life completely out of gear in the state. Kullu and Manali too received heavy snowfall affecting traffic movement in the region. Essential services like electricity, water, gas supply was severely affected in Himachal’s  Kinnaur district.

However, there was no snowfall and rain in Uttarakhand but the weather remained cold and cloudy forcing people to stay indoors.