MANALI: The hills of Himachal continued to receive more snow on Friday, third spell of snowfall in a week, triggering intensive cold wave conditions in the state.
Keylong in Lahaul valley recorded minimum temperature of minus 14 degrees C, lowest of the season. The valley also witnessed multiple avalanches in last 24 hours. Hundreds of villages of the state are still disconnected by the snow. Besides road connectivity, snowfall has partially crippled power supply in many areas.
With high velocity winds, some areas witnessed blizzards on Friday. Adding thickness to the existing snow, Solang and Kothi each received 30cm more snow. Dalhousie, Janjehli in Mandi and Kufri in Shimla each received 15cm more snow. Manali and Shimla received 15cm and 10cm more snow respectively. Keylong and Koksar in Lahaul received 10 and 15cm snow respectively.
Manali-Rohtang pass highway is buried deep under thick layer of snow. Rohtang is expected to have received over 20ft of snow so far. The pass will open for vehicular movement in May month.
More avalanches were reported from tribal Lahaul valley, and this time between Tandi and Koksar. Spells of snowfall are making multiple layers of snow and its thickness in higher areas has reached over 150cm. The unstable snow is falling in the form of avalanches. No untoward incident was reported.
Over 300 roads are still blocked and hundreds of vehicles are stuck in snow. Large number of passengers of HRTC bus had a miraculous escape on Friday when bus slipped on snow at Kothi near Anni in Kullu. The driver managed to stop the bus at the edge of the gorge and passengers deboarded the bus. Jalori pass has received over 120cm of snow, blocking Kullu-Anni road. Machines were deployed to clear the snow but another spell of snowfall has undone the efforts.
Kalpa in Kinnaur where temperature has plunged to minus 6.2 degrees C witnessed some traces of snow. Mercury settled at minus 4.8 degrees C in Kufri and minus 2.4 degrees C at Dalhousie. Manali recorded minimum temperature of minus 1 degree C and it was 0.8 degree C in Shimla. Temperature in some villages of Lahaul has plunged below minus 15 degrees C.
“Both inlets and outlets of bathroom have frozen and we have no water for taking bath,” RK Telangba from Telangbe village of Lahaul said over phone. He added that the valley is reeling under intense cold wave conditions and everything has frozen. “We are bound to take bath on snow in open area in such cold. Sometime we heat up snow to get water. The frequent spells of snowfall are forcing us to stay indoors.”
According to Shimla meteorological centre director Manmohan Singh, the weather will be generally dry from Saturday. “Another western disturbance is likely to affect western Himalayan regions from January 29. The mid and high hills of state may receive more snow and low hills may receive rains from January 30 onwards,” he said.
Meanwhile, snowfall in Himachal has thrilled thousands of tourists in the state. More tourists are expected to reach here to enjoy the snowfall.