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Rains, snow claim 48 in north India
March 13, 2007 18:14 IST
The Kashmir Valley on Tuesday remained cut off from the rest of the country even as incessant rains, accompanied by lightning, hailstorm and heavy snowfall lashed several parts of northern India, claiming at least 48 lives since Sunday.
Twenty-eight people were killed and over 25 received burn injuries due to lightning in various parts of Uttar Pradesh since Monday as heavy showers and hailstorms struck many regions of the state damaging standing crops.
Fifteen people, including two children, died of cold conditions, landslides and flash floods in Jammu and Kashmir, which remained cut off from the rest of the country for the second day with both road and air traffic remaining suspended.
Srinagar experienced the heaviest snowfall in the past 15 years during March recording 89 mm of snow since Monday.
The previous record for the month was 72.3 mm.
Five pilgrims had died of cold on Sunday night on their way to the Vaishnodevi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, pilgrimage to the shrine, which had been suspended in the wake of heavy landslides and rains, resumed on Tuesday with improvement in the weather conditions.
Authorities have begun evacuating over 5,000 stranded pilgrims at different places en route the cave shrine. Six more devotees, who fell ill, have been shifted to the hospital, taking the number of hospitalised people to 15.
Heavy rains have led to flash floods in some parts of the state.
Met officials said two extra-tropical systems had formed over the north-western and eastern regions, which have led to rainfall and a dip in the temperatures in most parts of northern India.