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Jammu — the winter capital of the state—recorded the coldest day of the season with the day temperature plummeting nearly seven degree Celsius below normal. Dense fog and poor visibility continued to badly affect rail and air traffic for the third straight day today.

The School Education department has decided to close all government and private schools in the summer zone of Jammu division from December 24 following the chilling weather.

Noted geologist and senior professor at the University of Jammu GM Bhat has described the recurring tremors in the state as a “routine activity” but said it could be an indication of a major earthquake in the coming days.

“There is nothing unusual about it (earthquake) and it is a routine activity, as we are in the Seismic Zone-V. The state is prone to tremors measuring 5 and above on the Richter scale. The Bhaderwah and Thathri areas of Doda district witnessed maximum impact of tremors today because these areas were close to the epicentre of the earthquake,” said Bhat over the phone from New Delhi.

‘State not fully prepared to meet disasters’

With scientists across the globe warning of massive earthquakes of magnitude 8.5 in the Himalayas, the hilly Jammu and Kashmir, which lies in seismic zone IV and V, may witness the worst ever tremors that could cause “immeasurable destruction” owing to “faulty planning” and “ill-preparedness” on part of the state government. Worried over the state government’s “laid-back approach on latent but imminent danger”, experts say the authorities should do holistic planning instead of getting into a fire-fighting mode during a disaster.