DEHRADUN: Due to heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of Uttarakhand and rainfall on the foothills, the state government was forced to announce the closure of schools on Friday in many districts including Nainital, Almora, Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Pauri and Tehri.
Holidays might be extended given the weather conditions.
State meteorological department officials said that the weather is expected to remain the same for at least the next two days.
Bikram Singh, director of MeT department, Uttarakhand said, "The weather is expected to remain cloudy with snowfall on the higher reaches and rainfall, drizzling in plain areas for next two days. We advise precautions, especially in hilly areas of the state."
Life in the hill districts of Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Pithoragarh, Chamoli, Nainital and others have been interrupted as power supply and mobile network has not been functioning, for now, in remote areas of the state.
The state police department and state disaster response force are on alert to deal with any natural occurrence translating into a disaster or possible threat to people's lives.
Piyoosh Rautela, executive director, disaster mitigation and management center, Dehradun said, "We are ready for any eventuality. However, an advisory was already issued by the MeT department to alert people."
With over two-feet snowfall in Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Harshil, Nainital, Mukteshwar, Auli, Chopta and many other hill stations of the state are expected to be buzzing with tourists in the weekend.
Ved Sah, a hotelier in Nainital said, "We have registered spike of 60 per cent in our bookings. It is due to snowfall and fame of Nainital and the nearby beautiful hill stations. (sic)"
Reports are pouring in of villages being cut off from rest of the world due to temporary disruption in power supply, mobile network and blockage of connecting roads.
Around 500 villages sank into the dark after heavy snowfall across the hill state.
With most of the important roads blocked, high tension, low tension wires broken, thousands of transformers installed across the region became temporarily dysfunctional.
Worst hit districts were Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Pithoragarh in terms of water and power supply along with other amenities to get going through chilled weather.