Continuous snowfall and rain threw life out of gear in the state on Monday and brought down temperature by several notches.
People were seen wearing woollens again, while many others preferred to stay home. Many parents did not send their kids to schools, as a result of which attendance in educational institutes was thin.
The Shimla administration has ordered all schools in the capital, except those where CBSE exams are going on, to be closed for two days till Wednesday.
The high altitude areas of the state received snow since Sunday evening while the lower and mid hills were lashed by intermittent rain and thunderstorms. The district administrations of tribal Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur have sounded an alert and asked people to remain indoors.
“The state received 57.5mm of precipitation against 2.8mm of its normal value, which is 1950% more than its normal value,” the weather report said, adding that it was the “wettest day” of this season so far.
Sangla valley recorded 40 cm of fresh snowfall while Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded 80cm of snow in the last 24 hours. Keylong recorded 65 cm of snow.
Narkanda received 20cm of snow, Kufri 16cm, while Fagu had 4cm of snowfall. Kharapathar recorded 30cm snowfall and Khirki in Chopal 33cm.
Shimla town, which saw around 6cm of snowfall, recorded a low of 1.8 degrees Celsius. In the capital city snowfall slowed down traffic on roads and commuters struggled with high velocity winds.
Meanwhile, the water level of the Beas river that flows through Hamirpur district and its tributaries has risen sharply. People living on the banks of the river have stopped visiting the river bed.
The meteorological department said the district received about 57mm rain during the last twenty-four hours with Jahoo and Mahre receiving 80 and 79 mm rain respectively. This has got farmers worried as the continuous downpour has caused the Rabi crops to be withered away.
More rain, snow predicted
Officials also said 300 roads have also been blocked, 160 of them in Shimla and Kinnaur districts alone.
The highway from Shimla to Kinnaur from Shimla, officials added, has been blocked due to snow at Kufri and Narkanda and a landslide near Urni in Kinnaur district.
Beyond the Sanjauli tunnel, Shimla and Kinnaur districts have been cut off from the state headquarter.
Officials added that several places, including Rekongpeo, headquarter of tribal Kinnaur district, reeled under darkness due to electricity failure.
The Shimla meteorological centre has predicted more rain and snow in the next 24 hours. “In the next 24 hours, higher reaches may receive heavy snowfall while lower and mid hills may receive light snow and rains,” said the meteorological centre director, Manmohan Singh.
Avalanche kills two in Chamba
Two people were killed by an avalanche near Puyrthi in the tribal Pangi region of Chamba district. Official reports said the deceased have been identified as Shyam Dass, vice -pradhan of gram panchayat Rei and his wife, Shanti Devi.
Forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri has expressed grief over the deaths.