Soldier killed in avalanche near LoC; mercury dips in north

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New Delhi, Jan 11 (UNI) A soldier was killed when a huge snow avalanche hit a post near the Line of Control (LoC) in Machil sector in Jammu and Kashmir as the mercury dipped in northwest India today after snow and rain at many places in Himachal Pradesh.

With this, three soldiers had been killed in the sector during the past three days in avalanches.

The death toll in avalanches mounted to 12 with one more fatality.

About half a dozen houses were damaged and two people were injured due to fresh snowfall across Kashmir.

The nationwide toll stood at 118 with 85 deaths in Uttar Pradesh, 14 in J&K, nine in Gujarat, four each in Bihar and Punjab and two in Himachal Pradesh.

The 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway reopened for one-way traffic today after remaining suspended for three days due to heavy snowfall and landslides.

In Delhi mercury dipped by nearly two degrees from yesterday but the cloud cover over the city still kept the temperature above normal.

Avalanches in Himachal Pradesh damaged property following fresh snowfall in the hilly state while a dense fog enveloped the plains in Punjab and Haryana , hampering road traffic.

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

Avalanches occurred 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.

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

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.

While the minimum temperature 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 is 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.

Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at a few places in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir.

Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at isolated places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Haryana, Punjab, Nicobar and Lakshadweep.

Mainly dry weather will prevail in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, West Bengal, Sikkim, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Night temperature was markedly below normal in some parts of Rayalseema and north interior Karnataka. It was below normal in some parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and in remaining parts of Rayalseema.

Night temperature was markedly above normal in some parts of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, West Bengal, Sikkim, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, east Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Marathwada.

It was above normal in some parts of Jharkhand, Madhya Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Chattisgarh and in remaining parts of Uttar Pradesh. The temperature was normal over the rest of the country.

UNI TEAM KK RP BD1932

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