Heavy snowfall affects over 900 villages in Uttarakhand, India


More than 900 villages of Uttarakhand in India were left without power and electricity on January 13, 2020, as heavy snowfall and widespread rain disrupted life in the state.

"Snow has disrupted the supply of electricity and water almost every year. But this time around it has been for a longer stretch, without any kind of respite in sight," said Ritesh Rawat, a resident of Chamoli.

32 people were injured in New Tehri and two in Uttarkashi due to snow-related incidents.

The severe weather prompted closures of several roads, stranding around 50 tourists in a number of places. Moreover, traffic was blocked on around 100 highways across the state. Snow created slippery road conditions, leading to a traffic standstill in the upper reaches.

Frost on Kempty Marg posed risks of accidents as well, the official said, adding that the administration is working on fixing concerns.

Widespread rainfall was reported in many parts in Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal. Several parts of Himachal Pradesh, as well as Jammu and Kashmir, received fresh spell of snowfall which affected restoration works.

According to a Met department official, the rain over parts of Punjab and Haryana and the capital Chandigarh was caused by a Western Disturbance.

Keylong and Kalpa in the tribal Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts saw 45 cm (18 inches) and 33 cm (13 inches) of snow respectively; Rohtang Pass received 60 cm (24 inches), and Pin Valley 90 cm (35 inches).

Moderate to heavy rain pounded the mid and lower hills, with Jawali registering 28 mm (11 inches) of rain, Manali 26 mm (10 inches).

According to the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) forecast, "isolated thunderstorm accompanied with hail/lightning also likely over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh," on January 15 and 16, 2020.

"Under its influence, scattered rain/snow over Jammu & Kashmir and widespread rain/snow over Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with isolated heavy falls over Uttarakhand," on January 16, IMD added.

Featured image credit: Jammu Links News (stillshot)


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