Coldwave in NW, coldest night in Shimla, Death toll at 10

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Chandigarh, Jan 20 (UNI) Cold wave conditions prevailed in the northwest region with Shimla recording the coldest night of the season while the death toll in Himachal Pradesh rose to 10 with two people killed during snow clearing operations, official sources said today.

Two labourers were buried alive in a landslide in two separate incidents in the district while clearing snow at Tapri and Pangi Nullah in Kinnaur district yesterday, the sources told UNI.

Meanwhile, overcast conditions in the day and a clear sky during the night plummeted the minimum temperature in Shimla town today which recorded the coldest night of this winter season at zero degree Celsius. However, the maximum temperatures at Shimla rose marginally to 7.2 degrees.

Meanwhile, in the Northwest plains, the pale appearance of Sun at some places failed to provide much relief as chilly winds continued to sweep most part of the day in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

With cold wave conditions prevailing, the Weatherman has predicted cold nights but partially sunny days for next 48 hours in most parts of the north-west India.

Light to moderate rain or snow were expected to lash isolated places in Himachal Pradesh while ground frost may occur at few places during the next two nights in Punjab and Haryana, according to the Met office here.

In Punjab, inhabitants of the holy city of Amritsar shivered today as the minimum temperature plunged at minus -0.4 degrees celsius, four degrees below normal.

Patiala and Ludhiana also reeled under the cold with the minimum staying low, respectively recording 4.2 degrees and 3.3 degrees celsius, three degrees below normal.

Cold conditions also prevailed in Haryana with the minimum temperatures plummeting in many places in the state.

The mercury was 4 degrees below normal at three places, recording 1.0 degrees at Narnaul, 2.5 degrees at Ambala and 2.6 degrees at Karnal.

In the tribal region of Himachal, the night temperature at Patseio fell to minus 18.5 degree Celsius, the lowest of the season, while Kalpa in Kinnuar district and Dhundi in Kullu district recorded night temperatures of minus 8.2 and minus 11 degrees respectively.

Bhang Manali and Solang Nullah also recorded sub zero temperatures of minus four degrees each, the met office said.

It said isolated places in the mid and lower hills of the state also recorded mild snowfall during the last 24 hrs with Bhang Manali experiencing nine cm of fresh snow, Dhundi 17 cm, Patseio one cm and Kalpa three cm.

The sky was partially overcast in Shimla in the morning before thick clouds covered the sky and dense fog engulfed it during the second half of the day and evening, forcing drivers to turn on their fog lights.

Sundernagar, Bhuntar and Una also recorded a fall in the night temperatures, which stood at 3.3, 0.6 and 0.5 degree Celsius.

UNI JN BK1907

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