Himachal gets season’s first snow amid rains (Lead)

August 13th, 2011 - 6:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 13 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh got the season’s first snowfall early Saturday, the weather bureau here said. Keylong town and nearby hills experienced snow while elsewhere in the state torrential rains threw life out of gear.

Air services to the state were disrupted because of the torrential rains.

“Keylong town and the nearby hills experienced snowfall Saturday morning,” the Met office said.

Keylong, the headquarters of the remote Lahaul and Spiti district, received four centimetres of snow.

The higher hills such as the Lady of Keylong and the Seven Sisters around the Lahaul Valley and the mighty Rohtang Pass in Kullu district were wrapped in a white blanket.

Most of the prominent tourist towns like Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri, Kalpa, Kasauli, Chamba, Dharamsala, Palampur and Manali saw moderate to heavy spells of rain.

Una town, adjoining Punjab, was the wettest place in the state with a rainfall of 342.6 mm.

Dharamsala - seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile - experienced rainfall of 213.4 mm, while Shimla recorded a mild rainfall of 15.6 mm. The picturesque tourist resort of Manali received 64 mm of rainfall, while Keylong received 55 mm.

Most of the rivers in the state were in spate.

A government spokesperson said that the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries are already flooded over in the Kinnaur, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts.

He said that all the state roadways buses are plying normally and there was no report of any road closure due to landslides.

An official of Kingfisher Airlines here said flights between Delhi, Shimla, Kullu and Dharamsala were cancelled due to the rains.

The Met office forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in the mid and low hills Sunday.

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