North India in cold grip after rains,snowfall

a-himachal-roadways-bus-struck-in-mud Rains kill 17 people in Rajasthan.
North Indian states are in the grip of cold after widespread rain battered the region.Unseasonal rains and snow has claimed 17 lives besides causing widespread damage to the standing wheat crop.

Officials said, twelve people were killed in Rajasthan due to rain, lightning and hailstorms in the last 36 hours, which also destroyed standing Rabi crops in the state. In Jammu and Kashmir, three persons were killed and four injured in landslides and avalanche in Kashmir and Poonch yesterday.

The avalanches and landslides were triggered after fresh snowfall in upper reaches and rain in Kashmir valley. Incessant rain across the state and fresh heavy snowfall in higher reaches of the valley and parts of Jammu have paralyzed normal life.

Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and Batote-Doda-Kishtwar road have been closed due to landslides at several places . Chopper service to Mata Vaishnodevi shrine from Katra base camp also remained suspended yesterday. A Meteorological department official said that western disturbance is active in the state which could result in moderate to rather heavy rain or snow at most places in the state today.

In Uttarakhand, two persons were killed in rock-slide triggered by heavy rain yesterday. In Himachal Pradesh, fresh bout of snowfall was witnessed in tribal areas and other higher reaches while rain lashed mid and lower hills.

Avalanche threat loomed large over high altitude tribal areas above 2,500 feet as melting of snow and glacier movement could accelerate in next few days.

The high-altitude tribal areas reeled under biting cold wave conditions with minimum temperatures ranging between minus 12 and minus 18 degrees.

Cold conditions returned to Delhi after the showers as the day temperature plummeted to 19.6 degree Celsius, nine degrees below normal. Minimum temperature was recorded at 16.6 degrees yesterday, which was two notches above normal.

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