Saturday, March 31, 2001,
Chandigarh, India






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Landslip, lightning claim 6 lives
More rain, snow predicted in region

Shimla, March 30
Six persons were killed due to landslide and lightning even as the tribal areas in Himachal Pradesh experienced heavy snow and lower hills had rain during the past 24 hours.

Four persons were killed and two others seriously injured in a landslide near Nathpa in Kinnaur district last night, district police chief Ajay Yadav, said. The victims, identified as Gian Chand, Karan Chand, Yashpal Singh and Amrit Tyagi, were sleeping in a shed when the incident happened. They were all labourers.

The injured were first taken to a project hospital at Bhabanagar and then to Indira Gandhi Hospital at Shimla.

In another incident, lightning struck the primary school building at Patandu village in the Theog area of Shimla district yesterday, killing two children on the spot. There were only seven children present in the school when the incident took place and the remaining five escaped unhurt, the police said.

Meanwhile, overcast conditions prevailed at several places in the northwest even as rain and strong surface winds for the third consecutive day today brought a sharp decline in the temperatures.

Chandigarh witnessed moderate rainfall since Wednesday and remained mostly overcast and received light showers. The Meteorological Department recorded 9.6 mm of rain during the past 24 hours. More rain has been predicted in the region over the next 48 hours.

In Himachal, upper reaches had snowfall, reviving the chilly weather conditions. Manali recorded 1 cm snow and 29 mm rain, Solang nullah had 6 cm of snow, and Dhundi had a thick blanket of snow this morning at 34 cm.

In Jammu and Kashmir, Banihal received 3 cm of snow, Himmat 10 cm, and Zamidar Khan Galli 44 cm.

In the plains, reports of rainfall were received from Amritsar (8.1 mm), Patiala 4.4 mm), Ludhiana (1 mm), Srinagar (2.1 mm), Jammu (0.7 mm), Ambala (24.2 mm) and Nahan (0.3 mm). The minimum temperature recorded at these places was 12.7C, 13.1C, 13.9C, 5.1C, 15C, 14.5C and 13.1C, respectively.

Agriculture experts say sporadic rain coupled with hailstorm will adversely affect crops like wheat that are at a harvesting stage. The prevalent climatic conditions will hamper the maturity of the grain. Strong winds and water-logging affect crops that are at a harvesting stage.

The forecast valid for the next 48 hours is heavy rain or snow is likely to occur at many places in Himachal, with light to moderate rain or thunder showers at many areas in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. UNI

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