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High altitude lakes start freezing in Himachal

Himachal Pradesh,Environment/Wildlife, Sat, 09 Nov 2013 IANS

Shimla, Nov 9 (IANS) High altitude lakes and water channels in Himachal Pradesh have started freezing as widespread snowfall in the past three days brought down the temperature, the weather department said here Saturday.

Night temperatures have been hovering below the freezing point in the interiors of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Sirmaur and Chamba districts, a met official said.

The Chandertal, Surajtal, Prashar and Manimahesh lakes have started freezing.

While the oval-shaped Manimahesh lake is located in Chamba district, Chandertal or moon lake and Surajtal or sun lake are in Lahaul-Spiti district. The Prashar lake is situated at a height of 9,000 feet in Mandi district.

Reports said the 475 km-long Manali-Leh highway has been closed after heavy spells of snow. It will now re-open in summer.

The Rohtang Pass (13,050 feet) and the Baralacha Pass (16,020 feet), located on the highway, experienced moderate to heavy snowfall. Both passes have been temporarily shut for motorists.

Traffic on the Saach Pass, located at an altitude of 14,500 feet in Chamba district, was also stopped after snowfall.

Kalpa, a picturesque town 250 km from Shimla, which saw 1.6 cm snow Saturday recorded a low of -2 degrees Celsius while it was 0.2 degrees in Manali and 8.6 degrees in Dharamsala.

Shimla and its surrounding areas also experienced a chilly night. The town recorded a low of 4.1 degrees, four degrees below normal.

Narkanda, 65 km from the state capital, saw more than 5 cm snow Friday, the season's first.

The met office predicts mainly clear weather across the state till Sunday.

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