Snowfall claims 4 lives in Himachal Pradesh
Snowfall in the hilly areas of northern India kept the region in the grip of the winter chill while leading to tragedy in Himachal Pradesh where four persons died in incidents triggered by cold weather phenomena.
Nine persons were also reported as missing in the tribal Lahaul and Spiti and Chamba districts of Himachal Pradesh as cold wreaked havoc in the hill state.
Two persons succumbed to the cold after being caught in a blizzard today at Gramfu near Keylong. A third victim was rescued in a serious condition, sources said.
The bodies of the deceased have been recovered while the injured person is to be airlifted to Kullu tomorrow.
Two other persons died yesterday in an accident near Thirot, about 40km from Keylong, after their vehicle got stuck in heavy snowfall. The lone survivor in that mishap was airlifted by rescue personnel.
The higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh reeled under the biting cold with Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie, Narkanda, Sarahan and Sangla valley receiving moderate snowfall while the middle and lower hills were hit by showers.
Manali received 12cm while Shimla got 6cm of fresh snowfall. The minimum was at -2 degrees in Manali with Shimla seeing the mercury settle at 1.6 degrees.
Chamba was the wettest place in the state with 48mm rainfall followed by Karsog (22mm) and Bhoranj (20mm).
Rohtang Pass has been closed and vehicular traffic suspended on the Manali-Leh road beyond Solang.
In Delhi, two days of bleak weather was followed by clear skies and a sunny morning with the maximum and minimum temperatures both registering a slight rise over yesterday.
The minimum in the national capital was recorded at 12.5 degrees Celsius, against 12 degrees yesterday, while the maximum rose by a notch from 17.4 degrees to touch 18.4 degrees.
While the minimum had jumped five notches above normal, the maximum was three degrees below that mark in Delhi.
In Jammu and Kashmir, snowfall continued in the higher reaches of Kashmir Valley even as the minimum temperatures in the area dipped further to settle below freezing point.
Srinagar received 0.5mm rainfall in the night and had the mercury settling at a low of -0.4 degrees, against the previous night's 0.3 degrees.