Cold, dry North India sees slide in temperature
There was no relief from the cold in northern India on Monday with the mercury sliding further under mainly dry conditions as skies stayed clear following the brief spell of rain and snowfall last week.
Although it was a sunny morning in the national capital on Monday, temperatures in Delhi did register a wee bit slide with the maximum and minimum both dropping a degree below normal at 19.9 and 6.2 degrees Celsius, respectively. There was also a light fog in the city in the morning. The tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh froze under biting cold as the mercury stayed between 18 and 28 degrees Celsius in several high altitude parts of the state.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that two more bodies have been recovered to take the toll from the avalanche which struck Kinnaur district on Sunday night to seven. Several areas, including the upper Shimla region, remained cut off for the sixth on Monday today with vehicular traffic to Rampur and Dhami routed via Basantpur and Kingal while the Manali-Rohtang road was closed.
However, the maximum temperatures rose marginally to stand at 22.6 degrees at Una, followed by 17.4 degrees Celsius at Dharamshala. The Met office has predicted dry weather over the next 48 hours with a likelihood of rain and snow at isolated places from January 23 onwards.
Conditions in Uttarakhand were dry with the minimum temperature in Dehradun being 4.9 degrees Celsius.
It was dry weather in Uttar Pradesh, too, which received no fresh rainfall as night temperatures fell markedly in Gorakhpur division and also registered a slide in the Varanasi, Kanpur and Allahabad divisions although elsewhere in the state, little had changed.
100 passengers airlifted
The Indian Air Force (IAF) airlifted over 100 passengers, stranded due to heavy snowfall, in three sorties between Srinagar and Kargil on Monday, an official spokesman said.
“As many as 106 stranded passengers were airlifted in three sorties of AN-32 aircraft,” he said. “Sixty-seven were airlifted from Kargil to Srinagar in two sorties and 39 from Srinagar to Kargil in another sortie,” the spokesman said.
Subject to weather, two sorties of AN-32 had been planned between Kargil and Jammu on Tuesday, he said. The IAF had airlifted hundreds of stranded passengers from snow-bound Kargil in frontier region of Ladakh after the closure of 434-km Srinagar-Leh national highway — the only road linking the cold desert with rest of the state.
The IAF had also helped the state administration in airlifting stranded passengers from snow-bound Gurez which like Kargil usually remains cut-off from rest of the state during winter owing to heavy snowfall.