Avalanches damage property in HP; night temperatures dip

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Chandigarh, Jan 11 (UNI) Avalanches occured in Himachal Pradesh, damaging property, following a fresh snowfall in the hilly state while a dense fog enveloped the plains in Punjab and Haryana today, hamppering the road traffic.

Snow and rain continued to lash many areas of Himachal Pradesh, dipping the night temperatures across the north-west region.

Avalanches occured at Powari village in Kinnuar district of Himachal Pradesh, burying three vehicles, a cow shed and a Mahila Mandal building besides devastating number of orchards last night, a report from Shimla said.

However, there was no reports of any casualities. The District Administration has advised the people not to venture out of their homes and stay at safe places.

Chilly winds swept most parts of the region following another spell of snowfall in tribal areas and rain in lower areas of Himachal Pradesh.

Many areas in the region were shrouded in a thick fog, reducing the visibility considerably and forcing vehicular traffic to move at snail's pace with headlights on.

The visibility was reduced to zero at Amritsar, Adampur, Halwara, Bhatinda, Sirsa, Sarsawa and Suratgarh and upto 50 metres at Chandigarh, 500 metres at Hindon, 700 metres at Palam in Delhi and 800 meters at Ambala.

Tribal districts of Lahaul Spiti and Kinnaur and Pangi and Bharmour areas in Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh had a moderate snowfall last night, intensifying cold wave in the tribal belt.

The 13050-foot high Rohtang Pass, gateway to Lahaul Spiti district, and the Dhauladhar Mountain ranges, facing the picturesque Kangra valley, also had moderate snowfall.

About 30 cm fresh snow has accumulated at Bhang-Manali, 58 cm snow at Dhundi, 20 cm snow at Solang Nala and 26 cm snow at Petsio.

Lower areas in Himachal Pradesh had a widespread rain. The capital town of Shimla also had rainfall. People groaned under intense cold in Shimla with the mercury dipping to 0.3 degrees celsius, two degrees below normal.

While the minimum temperatures dipped in several areas in Punjab and Haryana, they stayed two degrees to five degrees up in these states. Amritsar with 1.6 degrees, two degrees below normal, was the coldest place in Punjab while Ambala and Narnaul in Haryana recorded the minimum at 7.3 degrees celsius each.

The night temperature also fell in Chandigarh and its adjoining areas with the city recording 9.0 degrees against 12.0 degrees registered yesterday.

The Met Office predicted light to moderate rain or snow at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh and mainly sunny days in Punjab and Haryana during the next 48 hours.

The night temperatures are likely to fall by two degrees to four degrees in the twin states where ground frost may occur during the next two nights, the Met office said.

UNI VKJ MMS1758

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