New Delhi, Jan 16 (UNI) Two villagers were killed when they were buried alive under a huge snow avalanche in south Kashmir while people in northwest India shivered under cold conditions following another spell of snowfall and rain in Himachal Pradesh With the death of two villagers in South Kashmir, a total of about 20 people, including soldiers and porters, have lost their lives in snow storm and avalanches in the valley.
The nationwide toll in the cold wave stood at 124 with 85 deaths in Uttar Pradesh, 20 in Jammu and Kashmir, nine in Gujarat, four each in Bihar and Punjab and two in Himachal Pradesh.
Almost all mid and lower hills of Himachal Pradesh are experiencing fresh intermittent snowfall, while light showers are lashing the lower parts of the state since morning, the Met office said.
Rain lashed the famous tourist resorts of Manali in Kullu district, bringing a considerable fall in the temperature and forcing tourists and locals to remain indoors.
The capital town of Shimla also experienced showers dipping the minimum temperature to 6.0 degrees. The minimum, however, rose to 5.6 and 4.8 degrees at Sunderngar and Bhuntar respectively.
The 320 km Hindustan-Tibet road was closed beyond Rekong Peo, headquarters of Kinnaur district in the wake of snowfall.
Srinagar and its adjoining areas also experienced fresh snowfall while it was snowing heavily on upper reaches in the Kashmir valley.
The 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed for traffic this afternoon due following fresh snowfall at Jawahar tunnel and Banihal sectors. The 434-km-long Srinagar-Leh highway also remained closed.
In Punjab, the minimum temperature fell at Amritsar which recorded at 3.2 degrees, while Ludhiana showed 9.6 degrees and Patiala 7.9 degrees.
In Haryana, the minimum temperatures recorded at Ambala and Karnal were 7.2 degrees and 7.8 degrees respectively. However, the mercury remained static at 8.0 degrees at Narnaul while it rose to 10.8 degrees at Hissar.
Dark clouds hung over Chandigarh and its adjoining areas even as chilly winds swept the city during the day. The UT recorded a minimum temperature at 9.0 degrees.
Hailstorm or thundersquall with speed exceeding 45 km per hour is likely to occur at isolated places in the region in the next 48 hours.
Meanwhile, clouds hovering over the Delhi skyline since yesterday led to a rise in the minimum temperature to 10.7 degrees, from 9.8 degrees yesterday.
Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at a few places in Punjab, and at isolated places in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, Haryana, north Rajasthan, Nicobar and Lakshadweep.
Night temperatures were appreciably below normal in north Orissa, east Uttar Pradesh and in some parts of Gangetic West Bengal, east Uttar Pradesh, Rayalseema, Kerala in parts of Jharkhand, in southwest Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh and in some parts of Punjab and Tamil Nadu.
Night temperatures were appreciably to markedly above normal in Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Konkan, Goa and in some parts of Assam, Meghalaya, Haryana, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Marathwada, and in some parts of south coastal Andhra Pradesh.
UNI Team BDP RK1940