Wednesday, August 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Amarnath yatra halted
Flash-floods in Lahaul-Spiti
Tribune News Service and agencies

Chandigarh, August 13
Heavy rains lashed several places in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal today, plummeting temperatures even as Amritsar received 140 mm of rain.

The city and its adjoining townships of Panchkula and SAS Nagar received incessant rains throughout the day.

In Punjab, rains since yesterday left Amritsar city in a pool of water. Patiala was lashed by 79.4 mm of rain while Nangal Dam area received a moderate 4 mm. Jalandhar and Ludhiana also reported showers.

The maximum temperature at Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala at 30.6°C, 27.4°C and 27°C, respectively, stayed seven degrees below normal.

For the drought-affected Haryana, rains for the second day today brought a welcome relief. Ambala was lashed by 55 mm of rain since yesterday and the maximum settled at 26.7 Celsius, seven below normal.

Karnal got 12.0 mm, Panipat 10 mm, Samalakha 6.0 mm, Kaithal 12 mm, Rewari 10.2 mm, Kalka 35.0 mm, Jhajjar 76.0 mm, Bahadurgarh 40.0 mm, Pehowa 10.8 mm, Kurukshetra 11.2 mm, Gohana 46.0 mm and Thanesar 24.0 mm of rain.

SRINAGAR: For the second consecutive day, the 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu National Highway remained closed to traffic following incessant rains in the region and landslides in some areas.

The Amarnath yatra from Jammu has been stopped but the pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine continues with a lesser number of pilgrims.

As part of the annual pilgrimage, Chhari Pujan by Mahant Deependra Giri, was performed on the occasion of Nag Panchami at Amareshwar Temple here this afternoon.

A fresh batch of over 1000 pilgrams left the base camp of Pahalgam for the holy cave this morning. Several others who have returned after ‘darshan’ of the holy ice lingam are stranded due to the road blockade.

As many as 500 stranded Amarnath pilgrims are to be airlifted from here to Jammu tomorrow.

This follows a visit by Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to the Tourist Reception Centre here this evening, where he met the pilgrims, stranded after performing the yatra.

The Jammu and Kashmir Minister of State for Tourism, Ms Sakina Itoo, reviewed the situation arising out of the closure of the National Highway and arrangements for the stranded Amarnath pilgrims at a high-level meeting here today.

JAMMU: Due to the downpour since Monday, the level of most rivers is rising.

A large number of people on Tuesday stopped their vehicles on the Tawi bridge in the town to watch the river in spate. Traffic on several roads has been suspended because of landslides.

SHIMLA: At least 250 head of cattle, including 12 Jersey cows, perished in flash floods in Changut and Churput villages near Udaipur in the tribal Lahaul-Spiti district on Monday.

According to reports, 12 houses, a primary school and a Mahila Mandal Building were damaged due to heavy rain. The total loss is estimated at around Rs 2 crore.

Incessant heavy rain continues to disrupt life in the state. Almost the entire state has had rain since Monday evening. Numerous landslips have blocked roads in the interiors, affecting traffic. Rail services on the Pathankot-Jogindernagar section have been disrupted and the Rohru-Chopal road has been blocked by landslides. In Hamirpur, water supply and telecom services have been affected.

The Director of Primary Education has ordered inspection of all school buildings to identify unsafe structures keeping in view the heavy rain. He has asked the authorities concerned to carry out immediate repairs if required.

Flights to Kulu and Shimla were cancelled for the second day and the Chief Minister could not leave for Keylong, headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti district as inclement weather forced cancellation of helicopter flights. The Friendship peak and Laddakhi peak in Kulu district received first snowfall of the season, nearly a month in advance.

Dharamsala and Kangra region were lashed by heavy rains and the Deol-Karnathu link road was badly damaged with 70 metres of the road washed away, paralysing traffic.

HAMIRPUR: Heavy rain in the district since Monday night has hit power and water supply as well as telecom services in the interiors of the district.

Public Works Department labourers are busy braving the heavy rain to clear the roads of debris due to landslides.

MANDI: As a result of heavy rain in catchment areas, the Beas its tributaries are in spate. According to reports reaching here, there has been moderate to heavy rain in Karsog, Gohar, Sundernagar, Sarkaghat and Jogindernagar subdivisions since Monday evening.

Traffic, water and power supply and telecom services partially disrupted in parts of the district. Some areas in the Balh valley have been inundated. Similar reports have been received from Chamba.

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