One killed in house collapse in J&K; freezing cold claims life in

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New Delhi, Jan 17 (UNI) One person was killed in a house collapse due to heavy rain and snow in South Kashmir as freezing cold claimed one life in Himachal Pradesh.

One person was killed and two others were injured in a house collapse due to heavy rain and snow in south Kashmir, while a shoemaker, identified as Hansraj, was found dead at Chamba's famous Chaugan Maidan. In another incident, two labourers, identified as Ram Prasad and Bharat Rai, were seriously injured after they were hit by a boulder due to landslide, triggered by heavy snowfall, at Tranda Dhank in the district early today.

The rescue teams failed to trace soldiers and porters buried under snow in Uri sector and the Norwegian skier who went missing in Gulmarg on January 8.

With this death, the toll in the cold wave-related incident in Jammu and Kashmir has reached 21.

The nationwide toll in the cold wave stood at 126 with 85 deaths in Uttar Pradesh, 21 in Jammu and Kashmir, nine in Gujarat, four each in Bihar and Punjab and three in Himachal Pradesh.

The Kashmir valley remained cut off from the rest of the country for the second consecutive day today after the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed for traffic due to heavy snowfall and landslides yesterday.

The prospects of rescue operation becoming a success dipped further after entire north Kashmir, including upper reaches of Baramulla and Kupwara districts, received fresh snowfall since early this morning.

Meanwhile, barring two Haj flights from Jeddah, all incoming and outgoing flights from Srinagar were cancelled due to bad weather and snowfall. The haj flights, scheduled to arrive here in the morning, were diverted to Delhi because of very poor visibility and snowfall.

Towards the North-west, cold climatic conditions prevailed in with snow and rain continuing to lash Himachal Pradesh since last night.

All mountain passes, including the 13050-foot high Rohtang Pass and Dhauladhar mountain ranges, experienced heavy snowfall, intensifying cold wave conditions in Kullu and Kangra valleys.

Shimla and its adjoining areas also experienced rain, bringing a fall in the temperature.

Hailstorm or thundersquall with speed exceeding 45 km per hour is likely to occur at isolated places in the region during the period.

In the national capital, the mercury rose to 11.6 degrees Celsius, five degrees above normal.

Though smog was witnessed this morning, visibility levels remained near normal at 800m.

In the neighbouring Rajasthan, the western disturbances pushed up the minimum temperature and in Jaipur the sky remained overcast throughout the day.

In Jalandhar, Punjab, people braved severe cold as light showers lashed the region this morning.

The holy city of Amritsar was cold at 6 degrees celsius.

For the next 24 hours, the Met office has predicted mist and haze in the morning and cloudy sky during the day.

In the East, rain or thunderstorms are likely at isolated places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim.

People in Patna experienced pleasant weather as mercury rose by one degree to 21.8 degree Celsius.

Night temperatures were appreciably below normal in Telangana, Rayalseema and Kerala, and were below normal in some parts of Marathwada, Vidarbha and Tamil Nadu in the south.

UNI Team AKJ RP RN1915

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