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Snow cuts off parts of Himachal

SHIMLA, OCT. 13. The Himachal Pradesh's tribal valleys of Kaza, Lahaul and Pangi remained cut off from the rest of the world for the third day today and hundreds of vehicles, including the ``Raid De Himalaya'' motor rally vehicles, remained stranded as the entire belt and other higher reaches had another spell of snowfall.

The mighty Rohtang Pass (13,050 ft), the gateway to Lahaul and Pangi valleys, remained closed due to heavy snowfall and efforts to open the passes made little headway.

The Rohtang and Baralacha passes were experiencing intermittent heavy snowfall since this morning and chances of the road opening in the next 24 hours were very bleak.

Arctic conditions prevailed in the snow-covered tribal valleys with minimum temperature ranging between -10 and -15 degrees in high altitude areas.

Mid and lower hills of the State were lashed by rains and sleet.

The participants and officials of Raid de Himalaya motor rally moved to Keylong from Jispa, Sarchu and Patseo and were waiting for the road to clear.

The disruption of vehicular traffic in the tribal areas has affected tourist inflow. However, tourists were thronging the lower areas which experienced moderate snowfall yesterday. The key tourist resorts of Manali, Narkanda and Sarahan experienced first snowfall of the season yesterday while the adjoining resorts of Kufri and Fagu were lashed by sleet and rain for the second day today.

The minimum temperature remained at 4.2 degrees celsius in Shimla, making people shiver even in heavy woollens. The town was lashed by intermittent heavy rain followed by rain and hailstorm.

The Saach Pass in Chamba and Chansel Pass in Shimla district had moderate snowfall while the adjoining valley areas experienced scattered rains.

PTI

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