Season's first heavy snowfall in Srinagar; 11 buried in avalanche

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New Delhi, Jan 10 (UNI) Srinagar received the season's first heavy snowfall even as the mercury continued to rise in the national capital.

Five soldiers and eight labourers were buried under a huge snow avalanche in Uri sector of north Kashmir. While two labourers were rescued, search for others was underway.

A massive rescue operation was launched in Gulmarg heights to trace a Norwegian woman skier who went missing on January 8.

The holy Amarnath cave besides various tourist resort in south Kashmir experienced one to four feet of fresh snowfall.

The Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed for the second time due to heavy snowfalls and landslides. Few thousand passengers, including a good number of tourists, have been stranded at Srinagar and Jammu because of the closure of the highway.

Drass-Kargil-Leh road was also closed for traffic and all flights cancelled today after the entire Ladakh region experienced first heavy snowfall of the season.

About 300 passengers, including 130 who were issued tickets for AN-32 Army plane, are stranded at Kargil since yesterday.

Official sources said Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, experienced three feet of fresh snowfall during the past 24 hours, disrupting normal life.

The Drass-Kargil and Kargil-Leh national highway has also been closed for traffic because of heavy snowfall.

Night temperatures again dipped following fresh snowfall in higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh and scattered rain in Punjab and Haryana since last night.

Widespread rain lashed lower areas of Himachal Pradesh, including Dharamsala, Guler, Naudan, Sundernagar, Bhuntar, Una and Shimla.

Cold wave conditions further abated in the capital today with the mercury rising to 13.2 Degrees Celsius, six degrees above normal.

On the other hand, in Madhya Pradesh, six tehsils in four districts have been declared drought affected due to scanty rains during the monsoon.

The drought-hit tehsils include Jaisinghnagar and Sohagpur in Shahdol district, Nasrullahganj and Budhni in Sehore district, Kusmi in Sidhi district and Gyaraspur in Vidisha district.

Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at many places in Haryana, Punjab and at isolated places in West Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan.

Towards the east in Bihar, increase in temperature to 27 degrees Celsius gave people much needed respite from the cold wave conditions.

Night temperatures were markedly above normal in some parts of Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Sikkim, Orissa and Bihar.

Night temperatures were below normal in some parts of Madhya Maharashtra, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

UNI Team AKJ AS1914

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