Friday, February 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





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Region in grip of cold wave

CHANDIGARH, Feb 10 (UNI) — Most of the north-west region was in the grip of cold wave conditions following fresh spells of widespread snowfall on higher reaches and rain in lower reaches of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh since last night.

Some places in Punjab and Haryana too had light to moderate rain after three days of clear weather, resulting in fall in ground temperatures.

The maximum temperature in Chandigarh and adjoining areas in Punjab and Haryana today tumbled to 16.8C, three degrees below normal against 21C yesterday. The city and surrounding areas recorded 0.6 mm rainfall till this afternoon. The sky continued to be overcast portending more rains and fall in temperatures overnight.

With westerly disturbances revived over Jammu and Kashmir and adjoining areas of north Pakistan coupled with low pressure lying area over west Rajasthan, the weathermen here warned of snowfall or rains with very heavy falls over the next 48 hours.

Some places in Punjab and Haryana besides being lashed by hailstorms would also have moderate to heavy rain during the next two days.

The forward area in Jammu and Kashmir, including Ladakh district and tribal belt in adjoining Himachal Pradesh, were in the grip of severe cold wave conditions following fresh snowfall since last evening.

The minimum temperature in forward areas hovered around 5C to 7C below freezing point, Srinagar reported the low at zero degrees following snowfall precipitation equivalent to 6.8 mm of rainfall.

Shimla, after 0.7 mm of snow this morning had the minimum at 1.9C. Roof and tree tops, electric poles wore a white mantle of snow.

The movement of vehicular traffic in far flung and interiors of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh was disrupted by widespread snowfall.

The 300-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway, the lone surface link with the Kashmir valley, though cleared for traffic, was not opened to passenger vehicles as a precautionary measure.

The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, Khilanmarg, tourists spots of Pahalgam, the Liddar valley, the Amar Nath cave shrine area, Charar-e-Sharif tour reported 15 cm to 60 cm of snowfall till mid-day today. The Keran and Karnah areas reported 120 cm of snow since last evening.

Tourist resorts of wildflower Hall, Kufri, Naldehra and Narkanda in Shimla district and key tourist place of Manali, in Kulu district, also experienced snowfall. Manali recorded about 30 cm snow.

The snowfall blocked some roads in Shimla district. The 320-km Hindustant-Tibet road was blocked for vehicular traffic beyond Kufri. However, traffic has been diverted for Rampur via Basantpur.

Moderate to heavy snowfall lashed the Kulu valley. The entire valley experienced rain which plummeted the temperature below 0C, a report from Kulu said.

Vehicular traffic on the Manali-Kulu left bank road, Manali-Solang Nullah-Kothi road and other interior roads in Kulu district was suspended due to heavy snowfall. The snowfall disrupted power supply in the district.

The tribal district of Lahaul-Spiti had another spell of snowfall, making people groan under intense cold wave.

The 13050-foot-high Rohtang pass and the Dhauladhar mountains had heavy snowfall, aggravating cold wave in Kulu and Kangra valleys. Triund and Bhagsunag in Kangra district also experienced snowfall.

Lower areas, including Mandi and the Kangra valley had rainfall.

SHIMLA: After a day’s breather, the capital town of Shimla and higher reaches in Himachal Pradesh experienced fresh snowfall while lower hills had rain today, bringing a sharp fall in the temperature and renewing cold wave in the region.

Shimla and its adjoining areas had intermittent snowfall, accompanied by rain, since this morning. The snowfall was preceded and followed by icy-cold winds that swept across the town.

SRINAGAR: Srinagar and its adjoining areas had fresh snowfall since early this morning while upper reaches experienced heavy snowfall since last evening.

Meanwhile, the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway was cleared for traffic despite snowfall and rain at several places. However, no passenger vehicle would be allowed from Jammu or Srinagar today as a precautionary measure.

Tree tops, electric poles, roof tops and roads were covered with snow as people woke up this morning in Srinagar.

Traffic movement on many routes was affected due to snow.

World famous ski resort of Gulmarg, Khilanmarg and tourist spots of Pahalgam, Deksum, Yusmarg, Sonamarg and holy town of Charar-e-Sharief experienced six inches to one feet of fresh snowfall since last evening.

However, about two feet of fresh snowfall was recorded at holy Amarnath cave and Sheshnag.

A report from Baramula said about four feet of snowfall was recorded at Keran and Karnah areas since last evening disrupting normal life.
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