Himachal Pradesh Ravaged by Landslides: 5 Deaths Reported, Rivers Overflowing

Shimla: Heavy rains wreaked havoc in Himachal Pradesh, causing landslides, flash floods, and the loss of lives. The torrential downpour led to the closure of schools and colleges for two days. The local meteorological office issued a red alert for extremely heavy rains in ten districts, excluding Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti. Within 36 hours, the state emergency operation centre reported 14 landslides, 13 flash floods, and the closure of over 700 roads.

Incidents of devastation included shops being swept away in Manali, vehicles being washed away in flash floods in Kullu, Kinnaur, and Chamba, and damage to agricultural land. Tragically, three members of a family in Shimla district lost their lives due to a house collapse caused by a landslide. Another woman lost her life when a landslide damaged a makeshift house near Kullu. Additionally, a person was buried alive in Chamba following a landslide.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu expressed his condolences and instructed the district administration to provide immediate relief to affected families. Approximately 200 individuals were stranded in Chandratal in Lahaul and Spiti, but they are reported to be safe, with arrangements made for food and essential medicines. Rescue efforts are underway and are expected to be completed within the next two days.

To ensure safety, the Himachal Pradesh government ordered the closure of all government and private schools and colleges in the state for two days. Affiliated schools can independently decide on closure. The heavy rains caused widespread disruption, with 736 roads closed for traffic and numerous transformers and water supply schemes affected.

Major national highways, including NH-21, NH-505, NH-03, NH-305, and NH-707, were blocked due to landslides and other damages. Travellers and tourists were advised to avoid journeys during heavy rains and to stay away from river bodies. Train services between Shimla and Kalka were cancelled due to landslides blocking the railway track.

Rescue operations were carried out to save stranded individuals, including four tourists whose vehicle was hit by a falling rock. College students stranded between Gramphu and Chota Dharra were also rescued by authorities. The state witnessed heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in various areas.

The local meteorological office issued a warning for high flash flood risk in several districts. Precipitation levels in different regions ranged from 70mm to 282.5mm. The affected districts include Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Shimla, Sirmaur, and Mandi.

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