Rain, hail & snowfall lash north India

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New Delhi: Rain, hailstorms and snowfall lashed several parts of northern India on Thursday, disrupting normal life at many places, officials said.

The Kashmir region remained cut off for the second consecutive day due to heavy snowfall. The arterial Srinagar-Jammu road was closed after snow accumulated around the Jawahar Tunnel and landslides at several places in Ramban district 

All flights at the Srinagar airport were cancelled for the day, an official of the Airports Authority of India said.

Authorities have issued an avalanche warning for 16 of the 22 districts of Jammu and Kashmir for the next 24 hours. The Valley and high-altitude areas of the state have been experiencing heavy snowfall over the past 24 hours, officials said.

Several parts of Delhi and adjacent areas reported heavy rain and hailstorm in the evening.

As many as 38 flights, including 23 domestic and nine international, were diverted from the Delhi airport to nearby cities between 6-8.45 pm. The remaining six flights that were diverted during this time period were either private jets or belonged to the Indian Air Force, an official said.

In Uttarakhand, cold conditions intensified as the hilly districts received fresh snowfall and the lower areas were lashed by rains.

It has been raining intermittently in Dehradun since Wednesday evening. Schools and colleges in several districts remained closed in view of the inclement weather, officials said.

According to the state emergency operation centre, the Sonprayag-Kedarnath trek route to the Himalayan shrine was closed after being clogged with snow. The weather office has forecast heavy-to-very-heavy snowfall in the hilly areas over the next 24 hours.

Moderate-to-heavy rains also lashed parts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the meteorological department said. Widespread rainfall occurred in Himachal Pradesh during the past 24 hours.

The weather change was caused by a western disturbance, an official said.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered for a assessment of possible crop damage.

In Uttar Pradesh's Mathura district, a hailstorm damaged potato crops in over half-a-dozen villages, said Buddha Singh Pradhan, state vice-president Bharatiya Kisan Union.

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