Four persons, including an infant and a mother died after an avalanche hit Pangi village in Chamba district and a boulder knocking down a house at Nirmaur in Kullu district after heavy snow and rain crippled life in Himachal Pradesh.
Cold conditions prevailed across the state and mainly in snow-hit areas of Shimla, Manali, Chamba and all higher reaches apart from the tribal belt of Kinnaur and Lahual-Spiti as temperature dipped down to sub-zero conditions in many areas. Heavy losses to crops and horticulture produce have also been reported.
Himachal Pradesh State Board of School education postponed its examination while schools ,which opened today in Shimla ,were closed for the week. Deputy Commissioner of Kinnaur N K Lath has also ordered closure of the schools due to heavy snowfall and threat of avalanches.
More than 250 key roads have remained blocked due to snow and landslides, several electricity towers uprooted in Kinnaur, Kullu, Chamba and Sirmaur districts, power supply lines snapped and dozens government buildings and private houses damaged during the past 24 hours.
While the entire Kinnaur district – which has received a very heavy snowfall, unusual during the March – have remained cut off from rest of the world and electricity supply also disrupted, rest of Himachal Pradesh has received unprecedented rains breaking the 101 years old record
Director Meteorological centre in Shimla Manmohan Singh said, “More than 95 cms of snow was recorded at Kalpa in Kinnaur while areas above Manali, including Solang Nullah recorded 90 cms of snow. Equally heavy were rains at Una (81 CM ),which broke 1911 record of March rains. Sirmaur recorded (109 cm) of rains – which was 10,881 percent higher than normal rains).”
Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue and Disaster Management) Tarun Shridhar told The Indian Express that two deaths were reported due to a snow avalanche.
Resident Commissioner of Pangi has issued an advisory for the people not to venture out as there was likelihood of snow avalanches in the area.
At the Kadri village in Nirmaud, a mother and her child died as a heavy boulder hit her house during the day.
There have been reports of heavy damage to the buildings, roads and electricity lines due to landslides and falling of trees in Kullu district.
Shimla also received fresh snowfall during the day. The roads beyond Kufri and Fagu remained blocked as connectivity to areas like Narkanda, Kharapathar and Chopal was also affected. Efforts were underway to reopen the roads and restore power supply to affected areas ,Shridhar said
Kalpa (Kinnaur) was the coldest in the state with a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius. Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti and Manali recorded a minimum temperature of minus 1.1 and 0.8 degrees Celsius respectively.
“We are getting distressing reports about power supply disruptions from Kinnaur and other parts of the state. This is the result of heavy rains and snow which uprooted or damaged towers and snapped the electricity supply lines. There is no immediate assessment of the loss but it’s unprecedented. Kinnaur perhaps is severely hit,” said S K B S Negi, Principal Secretary (Power).
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