Parts of Himachal Pradesh cut off after snowfall

Several parts in higher hills and tribal areas were cut off from rest of Himachal Pradesh due to heavy snowfall, while lower areas were lashed by heavy rains, disrupting normal life.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 14, 2014, 22:26 PM IST

Shimla: Several parts in higher hills and tribal areas were cut off from rest of Himachal Pradesh due to heavy snowfall, while lower areas were lashed by heavy rains, disrupting normal life.

The mercury hovered around freezing points in mid and higher hills while the day temperature plummeted after snowfall and ranged between zero to 10 degrees.

The Hindustan-Tibet National Highway was closed beyond Shimla while traffic was suspended on Manali-Kiratpur national highway beyond Bhuntar due to heavy snowfall and link roads in interior areas of Kinnaur, Shimla, Mandi, Chamba, Kangra and Kullu were completely blocked, paralysing normal lige.

The traffic to upper Shimla was suspended and Rampur bound buses were being diverted to Baantpur and Kingal.

Rohtang Pass was covered under 150 cm of snow and has been closed.

About 1,400 tourists stranded between Mari and Rohtang pass have been rescued and brought to Manali on foot, officials said.

Snow laden trees fell in Kullu and surrounding areas damaging vehicles, houses and severing overhead power transmission lines.

Kullu valley was without power since yesterday, some villages in tribal Kinnaur including Kafnu, Bhawa valley, Katgaon and Triunda were without power and some shepherds who had gone to higher hill with their herds of sheep and goats were stranded.

Key tourist resorts of Chamba, Kullu, Chail and Naldehra had first snowfall of the season while Rohtang, Kunzam, Saach and Chansel Passes and Dhauladhar and Churdhar ranges experienced heaviest snowfall of the season.

The Shimla-Rohroo and Shimla Chopal roads were blocked due to snow at Khara-Patthar while snowfall occurred upto Nagwain in Kullu area.

Narkanda in Shimla district received 55 cm of snow while Kufri and Fagu were covered under 50 cm thick blanket of snow.

Manali and Chamba received 65 cm and 40 cm of snow while Kalpa, Shimla and Keylong had 38 mm, 36 mm and 31 of snow, followed by Bhuntar?21 mm and Theog 15 cm.

Heavy rains lashed the lower hills and Dharampur was wettest with 102 mm of rains while Kandaghat and Kasauli had 88 mm and 83 mm rains, followed by Nahan and Banjjar 70 mm, Sarahan 68 mm, Una, Sundernagar and Bangana 60 mm, Bhuntar 56 mm, Nauni 55 mm, Mandi 52 mm.

The local MeT onwards office predicted rains or snow at isolated places tomorrow and dry weather in the region from December 16 onwards.