Updated February 1st, 2024 at 16:21 IST
Heavy Snow Brings Normal Life to Standstill in Himachal Pradesh, 134 Roads Shut
After heavy snow blanketed parts of Kasol in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday, the normal life of residents in the town came to a standstill.
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Shimla: After heavy snow blanketed parts of Kasol in Himachal Pradesh on Thursday, the normal life of residents in the town came to a standstill. As per ANI, the tribal areas and high-altitude regions witnessed the first significant snowfall of the year leading to the closure of 134 roads including four national highways the state.
Similarly, Shimla was wrapped in a thin blanket of snow on Thursday while the 5-km stretch between Kufri and Fagu was entirely covered in snow. Braving cold, tourists and residents thronged the Mall Road and Ridge in the heart of the city to enjoy the snow.
Shimla was lashed by a severe hailstorm on Wednesday night followed by intermittent rains.
Over 240 roads, including six national highways, in the state have been closed for vehicular traffic and 677 transformers got disrupted following heavy snowfall and rain, according to the state emergency operation centre.
— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2024
A maximum of 165 roads remain blocked in the tribal districts of Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti, the centre said. The vehicular traffic in the upper Shimla area beyond Dhalli came to a standstill as the roads got blocked due to heavy snow in Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda. Vehicular movement has been halted at Dhalli due to snowfall and slippery road conditions, SP Shimla Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi told the PTI on Thursday.
He added that the roads would be cleared soon. Intermittent snowfall has continued in five out of 12 districts since Tuesday night and the local MeT office has issued an orange warning for heavy snow and rain at isolated places in five districts namely Shimla, Kullu, Chamba, Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti on February 1 and a yellow alert for thunderstorm and lightning on February 3 and 4.
The forecast for heavy snowfall has brought relief to the farmers and the fruit and vegetable growers, who suffered huge crop losses due to the prolonged dry spell.
The wet spell is likely to be beneficial for the Rabi crops, a spokesperson of the agriculture department said.
"The heavy snowfall has brought cheers to the tourism and allied industry and we are pinning hope for a good season in February. The footfall is likely to increase due to snowfall during the weekends in Shimla," said M K Seth, President of the Shimla Hotel and Tourism Stakeholders Association.
The famous tourist destinations of Narkanda, Kufri, Shimla, Manali, Rohtang, Sangla, Dalhousie and Khajjiar are also receiving snowfall.
Chidgaon in Shimla district recorded 75 cm deep snow followed by Shikari Mata receiving 60 cm snow, Kothi 50 cm, Chanshel and Kamru Nag 45 cm each, Manali 37 cm, Keylong 32 cm, Bada Bangal and Prashar Lake 30 cm, Tindi, Pangi, Jot and Nauradhar 25 cm each, Kukumseri 18.4 cm, Koksar 16.2 cm, Khadrala 16 cm, Shillaroo 15 cm and Sangla 12.2 cm.
Widespread rains lashed several parts of the state and Rohru was the wettest with 40 mm of rainfall followed by 33 mm in Bhuntar, 23 mm each in Kangra and Mandi, 22 mm in Una, 20 mm each in Poanta Sahib and Sangarh, 17 mm each in Shimla and Pandoh, 15 mm each in Dharamshala and Shallai, and 12 mm each in Dharamshala and Shallai.
The cold wave conditions persisted in the lower hills and dense fog occurred at some places in the morning hours. Kukumseri was the coldest at night recording a minimum temperature of minus 3.1 degrees Celsius while Kalpa shivered at minus 2.4 degrees Celsius, Narkanda and Samdho at minus 2.1 degrees Celsius, Manali minus 0.1 degrees Celsius, Dalhousie 0.9 degrees Celsius, Kufri 0.2 degrees Celsius and Shimla at 1.8 degrees Celsius.
As per the MeT, three or four spells of heavy rain or snowfall are likely in Lahaul-Spiti, Shimla, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kangra, Kullu and Mandi during this period.
The state witnessed the driest January in 2022 with about 99 per cent rain deficit and 83 per cent rain deficit in December 2023. The MeT has predicted a wet spell in the state till February 5.
The snowfall is likely to cause disruption of essential services like water, electricity, communications and related services and reduce visibility, the forecast said
Similarly, the Sawjian area of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir was covered in a blanket of thick snow, as parts of the Union Territory received heavy snowfall on Thursday.
— ANI (@ANI) February 1, 2024
(with PTI inputs)
Published February 1st, 2024 at 16:19 IST