Three killed due to avalanches in HP; cold wave sweeps Punjab

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Chandigarh, Feb 8 (UNI) Three people were killed due to avalanches even as cold wave swept Punjab and Himachal Pradesh today following fresh snowfall in the hilly state since last night.

The mercury registered a sharp decline in the plains, hovering two degrees to six degrees celsius below normal. Chilly winds lashed most parts of the region where some areas experienced rain overnight.

Two children, identifed as Amar Chand (16) and Robin Singh (13) were killed when avalanches occured at Sishu village in tribal Lahaul Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, a report from Shimla said.

In another incident, a woman was reported missing at Pandar village in the remote Dodra Kawar area of Shimla district.

People in the tribal areas have been advised not to venture out due to the threat of avalanches in the tribal region.

High and mild hills in Himachal Pradesh experienced heavy snowfall for the sixth day today while lower areas of the state had rain, blocking several roads and intensifying cold wave.

Vehicular traffic has been suspended on the Chamba-Pathankot, Chamba-Tissa, Chamba-Bahrmaur and the Chamba-Saloni roads following snowfall.

The 320-km long Hindustan-Tibet road was also blocked at certain places due to heavy snowfall. Vehicular traffic to Rohroo, Narkanda, Theog, Rampur and beyond was suspended.

Shimla also experienced snowfall and traffic was affected in the capital town. All tourist resorts in the state also experienced heavy snowfall.

People groaned under cold wave conditions in Punjab as the minimum temperature stayed four degrees to six degrees below normal at several places in the state.

Cold wave conditions prevailing in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh are likely to continue and extend to some parts of Haryana during the next two days, according to the Met office here.

It warned of ground frost formation at many places in Punjab and few places in Haryana during the next two nights.

Ludhiana, where the temperature fell to 0.9 degrees, six degrees below normal, was the coldest place in Punjab, followed by Amritsar registering 1.8 degrees and Patiala showing 3.8 degrees celsius.

Adampur, near Jalandhar, was cold at 3.8 degrees, Bathinda at 3.6 degrees and Pathankot at 6.4 degrees celsius.

The night temperatures also dipped in Haryana where Narnaul was the coldest place, recording 4.6 degrees celsius, two degrees below normal. Hissar registered 5.6 degrees celsius following mild rainfall. However, the temperature increased at Karnal recording 7.2 degrees celsius.

Chandigarh and its surrounding areas of Punjab and Haryana were also under the impact of cold wave conditions with the city registering 7.6 degrees celsius.

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

UNI VKJ JS1803

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