Two feared killed in HP, red alert raised

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (UNI) Two Nepalese labourers were feared killed and another injured after they were buried under an avalanche in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh taking the nationwide toll in the cold wave related deaths to 128.

Both the deceased, residents of Piyoga Village in Nepal, came under an avalanche at Allain Dhugan hydel project area at Prini near Manali, while sleeping in their tent on Monday night, a delayed police report said. Another person was injured in the incident.

The nationwide toll due to cold wave conditions has reached 128 with 85 deaths in Uttar Pradesh, 21 in Jammu and Kashmir, nine in Gujarat, five in Himachal Pradesh and four each in Bihar and Punjab.

In northwest region mercury appreciably rose with cloudy weather persisting in most of the areas in the region as dense fog enveloped many areas, reducing visibility to nil at Sirsa and Suratgarh and upto 500 metres at Sarsawa.

In Himachal Pradesh tribal districts of Lahaul spiti and Kinnaur and Pangi valley had another spell of snowfall. Dhundi recorded 148 cm snow, Solang Nala 86 cm, Patsio 33 cm, Bhang-Manali 31 cm and Kalpa 12 cm snowfall since last night. The 13050-foot Rohtang Pass also received heavy snowfall.

Meanwhile, a high alert has been raised in and around the tourist resort of Manali and in the tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti following heavy snowfall and fear of avalanches.

The district administration has also announced the closure of all educational institutions in the sub division for the next two days.

Mid and lower hills of the state including Bhuntar, Dharamsala and Sundernagar, experienced rain while Shimla measured 9.0 mm rain till this morning.

In Jammu and Kashmir at least two thousand passengers and truckers were stranded on the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway which remained closed for the third day.

Heavy snowfall was reported at Jawahar tunnel and Banihal sectors while rains triggered landslides and shooting of stones at Penthal on the national highway forcing the closure of it.

In Punjab Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala were lashed by rain with the minimum temperatures recorded at 6.8, 10.7 and 11.4 degrees Celsius respectivly.

In Haryana the minimum temperature at Ambala, Narnaul, Karnal and Hissar was recorded at 11.0, 9.3, 11.4 and 11.0 degrees respectively.

Chandigarh and its adjoining areas were lashed by intermittent rain since last night with the city recorded a rise in the minimum temperature to 12.0 degrees.

The national capital witnessed another warm winter day with the minimum temperature rising to 14 and the maximum at 22.6 degrees Celsius.

Night temperatures were markedly below normal in some parts of Marathwada, appreciably below normal in some parts of north Madhya Maharashtra, Telangana, Rayalseema, Tamil Nadu, coastal Karnataka, and in remaining parts of interior Karnataka, and were below normal in some parts of Jharkhand, south Madhya Maharashtra, Vidarbha, south Chattisgarh, coastal Andhra Pradesh, and in remaining parts of Tamil Nadu and coastal Karnataka.

Night temperatures were appreciably to markedly above normal in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, east Rajasthan, west Madhya Pradesh, and in some parts of Assam, Meghalaya, Punjab, west Rajasthan, Gujarat, Konkan and Goa. They were above normal in some parts of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, and in remaining parts of Konkan, Goa, north Madhya Maharashtra, and Marathwada.

Mainly dry weather prevailed over Uttar Pradesh, east Rajasthan and Lakshadweep.

UNI TEAM SP RAI2006

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