CHANDIGARH: Following a heavy snowfall overnight, the tourist destinations of Shimla, Manali and Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh were cut off from the rest of the country. The season's first significant snow fall turned out to a heavy one witnessed by the region in the last decade.
Following the snowfall, heavy rains persisted in lower areas of the State such as Dharamsala, Palampur, Solan, Nahan, Bilaspur, Una, Hamirpur and Mandi, thus bringing down the mercury levels.
Reportedly, electricity supply was snapped in Shimla and Manali as power lines were damaged due to uprooted trees. Also the road connectivity was cut off for some time as traffic bound for Shimla was disrupted at Shogi due to the snowfall. The traffic was also disrupted at Patlikuhl before Manali. Due to the cold weather, the water taps froze too.
As per the Meteorological department, some areas in Shimla such as the Mall Road, the Ridge, the US Club and Jakhu hills received more than a foot of snow. The weather forecast states the storm systems originating from the Caspian Sea in the Central Asia and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region would remain active till Sunday which could result in more snowfall in the region in the coming days.
The traffic bound for Narkanda, Jubbal, Kotkhai, Kharapathar and Chopal was disrupted by the unexpected snowfall. Rohtang Pass near Manali and adjoining areas received 10 cm to 15 cm of fresh snowfall. A government spokesperson said most of the internal roads in Shimla and Kinnaur districts were cut off due to snow.
The tourists have been advised not to venture into remote areas as chances of heavy snow were high. The high altitude tribal areas reeling under freezing cold wave conditions are experiencing intermittent snowfall, affecting the normal life.
Tourists from Chandigarh are making a beeline to Kasauli and Chail after season's first snowfall greeted the two places on Saturday morning.