Shimla : Cold conditions intensified across the mid and higher hills as heavy snow battered the region for the fourth consecutive day and five people are reported to have died because of the prevailing weather conditions.
An unidentified beggar died at Poanta Sahib bus station in Sirmaur district; in Kullu district Mangalu Ram, a 62-year-old man, and Vijay, a 35 year old man died because of the cold conditions. A shoe maker in Chamba towns Chogan Maidan also succumbed to the cold where as an employee of the state electricity board is reported to have been was swept away in a landslide in Kinnaur district.
The meteorological office reports that the higher altitude areas of Chamba district in Pangi and Bharmaur valley were experiencing the heaviest snowfall of
the winter season. In 16 years this is the heaviest snowfall recorded in Pangi and Bharmaur, says the met office.
The district administration in Lahaul and Spiti have sounded a high alert and warned people to say put in their homes or in safe places. Over the last few days 10 to 12 feet snow has been recorded in some areas and a threat of avalanches looms large. In the last 48 hours some areas in Lahaul have recorded upto 120 centimeter of fresh snow.
Power lines, water supply schemes, streams and lakes have frozen and the valley remains cut off from rest of the state.
Its no better in Kinnaur district where Reckong Peo in the last 24 hours recorded over 12 centimeters of fresh snow.
Thick fog engulfed the state capital for most of the day and cold winds swept the hill station. Most people preferred to stay indoors and sleet showers lowered temperatures. The tourists resort of Narkanda was lashed by heavy rains followed by snow.
Shimla recorded a low temperature of 4.7 degrees Celsius and 9 millimeter of rain. The
met office forecast that the wet conditions would continue in the state for another day.