Snowfall in Himachal and J-K, cold wave claims 10 more lives

New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI) Snowfall today disrupted landand air traffic in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh,while 10 more deaths were reported from Uttar Pradesh and WestBengal where cold conditions prevailed.

Eight more persons died due to cold in different partsof Uttar Pradesh -- two in Ballia, one each in Allahabad,Kaushambi, Lalitpur, Hamirpur, Hathras and Siddharth Nagar,taking the toll in the state this winter to 127.

In West Bengal''s Malda district, an elderly woman diedof cold this morning while a man passed away last night.

Delhiites had a relatively pleasant day with themaximum at 24.3 deg C, which was the third highest maximum inthe past four years in the month of January.

The low was recorded at 6.1 deg C, a degree belownormal, against yesterday''s 5.3 deg C.

The Kashmir Valley was today cut off from rest of thecountry as fresh snowfall forced closure of Srinagar-JammuNational Highway, the only road link to the region, and led tocancellation of all the flights.

Snowing started in the high altitude areas late lastevening, while Srinagar experienced snowfall this morning.

Gulmarg, the coldest place in the region last night atminus 8 deg C, received maximum snowfall. Light snowfall wasalso recorded at the tourist resort of Pahalgam.

Leh town in Ladakh region, however, was freezing asthe minimum temperature recorded there continues to hoveraround minus 20 deg C. Kargil town also shivered with mercurysettling at minus 15.8 deg C.

Higher reaches and the entire tribal belt in HimachalPradesh experienced intermittent snowfall, causing sharp fallin mercury.

Pangi, Lahaul, Spiti and Kaza Valleys experiencedintermittent snowfall since early this morning, while 80 to100 cm of fresh snow was recorded in high altitude tribalareas and high mountain passes.

The mighty Rohtang Pass recorded 100 cm of snow tillthis evening while Solang Nallah received 25 cm of snow.

The key tourist resorts of Manali, Narkanda, Chail andKufri experienced 10 to 15 cm of fresh snow and snowfall wascontinuing.

Shimla also had a mild snowfall in the morning and theJakoo peak, highest point in the town, recorded 15 cm of snowwhile Ridge and other places had 4 to 5 cm of snow.

The day temperatures also plummeted in some parts ofthe hilly state and Bhuntar, Sundernagar and Mandi recordedmaximum temperature of 9.5 deg C, 14.5 deg C and 14 deg C,respectively. (More) PTI TEAM

Widespread rains lashed most parts of Punjab and Haryana even as minimum temperature hovered between one tofour degrees Celsius above normal in the region.

Patiala was the coldest in the two states with a lowof 6.4 deg C. While Amritsar had a low of 7.2 deg C, fournotches above normal, the minimum temperature at Chandigarhwas 8.2 deg C, three notches above normal.

Mount Abu was the coldest place in Rajasthan with aminimum temperature of 5 deg C, a Met report said here.

It was followed by Sriganganagar at 6.6 deg C,Vanasthali at 8 deg C, Churu at 9.4 deg C, Phalodi at 9.5 degC and Jaipur at 10.7 deg C.

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