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Dec 16, 2014

04:23:52 GMT--Cold Wave - Asia - India

EDIS Number: CW-20141216-46341-IND

Date / time: 16/12/2014 04:22:19 [UTC]

Event: Cold Wave

Area: Asia

Country: India

State/County: State of Himachal Pradesh

Location: [Manali regions]

Number of Deads: N/A

Number of Injured: N/A

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: N/A

Number of Affected: N/A

Number of Evacuated: N/A

Damage level: N/A


An intense cold wave left Himachal Pradesh reeling Monday with Manali recording a biting minus two degrees Celsius, a couple of days after the state received rains and snowfall. Traffic remained disrupted for the second day in Shimla. However, it was partially restored between Kullu and Manali. Shimla, which received 29.3 cm of snowfall since Sunday, experienced its coldest night at 0.9 degree Celsius. The maximum temperature recorded at 5.2 degrees Celsius. Water in taps in residential areas located in Shimla's US Club and Jakhu hills remained frozen due to extreme cold. The district administration has ordered closure of all educational institutions in Shimla for two days from Monday. Popular tourist spots near Shimla like Kufri and Narkanda received good spells of snow for the past two days. The tourist resort Kasauli in Solan district also received mild snowfall. The Rohtang Pass (13,050 feet) and the Baralacha Pass (16,020 ft) -- located on the Manali-Leh highway -- witnessed heavy snowfall as well. The resort town of Kalpa recorded a minimum temperature of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius, while it was 0.4 degree in Dalhousie and minus 5.9 degrees Celsius in Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district. Weather officials said the high hills of Kinnaur, Lahaul-Spiti, Kullu and Chamba districts witnessed heavy snowfall in the past two days. A government spokesperson said Kinnaur district and towns in Shimla district such as Narkanda, Jubbal, Kotkhai, Kumarsain, Kharapathar, Rohru and Chopal were cut off from the rest of the state.

Connectivity on the Kullu-Manali National Highway 21 remained snapped near Patlikuhl, some 20 km before Manali, for heavy vehicles, including buses, officials said. However, small vehicles started plying on the highway. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh reviewed preparations to restore roads and other essential services disrupted due to snowfall across the state. He directed the authorities to restore the water pipelines, electrical cables and other essential services within two days, a statement said. He said damaged roads will be assessed and steps will be taken to open all the routes wherever they were blocked due to snowfall and landslides. It was decided to release Rs.5 crore to the public works department through State Disaster Response Fund to make the roads motorable. BJP leader and former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal criticized the government for its lacklustre approach on natural disasters. He said the Indian Meteorological Department had issued warning regarding heavy snowfall and rain in the state and despite the fact many tourists were allowed to visit the Rohtang Pass, 52 km from Manali. "When the snowfall started, more than 2,000 tourists were struck on the way to the Rohtang Pass and they were rescued by locals," he said. This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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