Over 600 tourists evacuated in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: More than 600 tourists struck in the hills overlooking the tourist resort Manali in Himachal Pradesh due to snow have been rescued, an official said Sunday.

Eighteen people were, however, still stranded and provided accommodation at Marhi, 35 km from Manali, Sub District Magistrate Vinay Dhiman told IANS over phone.

A majority of the tourists bound for the Rohtang Pass were rescued between Gulaba and Marhi and brought to Manali. The evacuation ended around 10 p.m. Saturday, he said.

Snow scooters were deployed to rescue them. The hills overlooking Manali have been experiencing snowfall since Saturday.

A government spokesperson here advised tourists not to venture into remote areas of the state as chances of snow were high in the next 24 hours.

The Chandigarh-Manali National Highway 21 has been closed for vehicles near Patlikuhl, 20 km before Manali, officials said.

The Met Office here said Manali experienced more than a foot of snowfall.

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