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Spring plays fugitive, winter extends

Breaking Climate News: India
March 13, 2007
Photo: People travelling in a boat during a snowfall in Srinagar yesterday. This is the heaviest snowfall Srinagar and surrounding area has seen this season.
Five pilgrims to the Vaishno Devi shrine in Jammu and Kashmir died yesterdy due to extreme cold as heavy unseasonable rains and snowfall surprised large swathes of north India, including the national capital, as spring played fugitive. The met office attributed the FREAK WEATHER to western disturbances. The five people on their way to the Vaishno Devi shrine died due to extreme cold even as nearly 1,000 vehicles were stranded on the strategic Jammu-Srinagar highway, cutting off the Kashmir Valley from the plains. The highway had remained closed for 10 days last month as well because of bad weather, leading to a scarcity of food products in the valley. The valley received the heaviest snowfall of the season yesterday with the popular resort town of Sonmarg receiving 4 feet of snow. Farmers maintained the late, untimely March snow had damaged their oilseed and fodder crops while fruit growers said almond and other fruit blossoms also suffered. Over 200cm of snowfall has accumulated at the 13,050-foot-high Rohtang Pass in the last three days. This year, Delhi has received more than 34.5 mm rainfall in March, as against its usual quota of 14.8 mm. “The rains are due to a cyclonic blip over north-west India."


The cyclone that has been hovering over Russia’s Khabarovsk region since Saturday, has hit it with RECORD SNOWFALLS. Up to 28 millimetres of precipitations have fallen in southern parts of the region over the past 24 hours with a monthly norm of 13 millimetres, while in eastern parts of the region more than three monthly norms of snow have fallen. The cyclone is moving northeast. Winds in Khabarovsk are gradually losing their strength, but heavy snowfalls and snowdrifts persist on the seaside.

Carcasses of about one million cattle and poultry that died during a severe snowstorm in northeastern China have been destroyed to prevent them from being processed for food. Earlier this month, northeastern China experienced its worst March snowstorm in 56 years, with severe cold and strong winds causing snow to drift up to two metres in some places. More than 978,000 chickens, 24,000 ducks and thousands of pigs, cattle and sheep were burnt and buried in the province of Liaoning.
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