22 dead, six dead in flash floods and landslides in Himachal Pradesh

By PTI STI (Update)


Maximum damage was reported in Mandi, Kangra and Chamba districts and so far 36 weather-related incidents have been reported in the state. As many as 743 roads, including the Manali-Chandigarh trunk road in Mandi and the Shimla-Chandigath road in Shoghi, were blocked to traffic.

Twenty-two people, including eight family members, have been killed and six feared dead in landslide and flash flooding incidents triggered by heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh since Friday, officials said . Ten people were injured, state disaster management department director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta said on Saturday.

Maximum damage was reported in Mandi, Kangra and Chamba districts, he said, adding that so far, 36 weather-related incidents have been reported in the state. As many as 743 roads, including the Manali-Chandigarh national highway in Mandi and the Shimla-Chandigath highway in Shoghi, were blocked to traffic, he added.

In Mandi alone, 13 people died and five disappeared in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains, Deputy Commissioner Arindam Chaudhary said.

The bodies of eight family members were found in the rubble of their home after a four-hour search operation by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and police in the village of Kashan, in the Gohar development block, he added. The house collapsed in a landslide. The body of a young girl was found some distance from her house after a flash flood at Baghi nullah on the Mandi-Katola-Prashar road, the DC said, adding that five members of her family were believed to have been swept away.

Several families left their homes between Baghi and Old Katola neighborhoods after the burst of a cloud and took refuge in safer places, he added. Two people were killed and two others injured when rocks hit their car at Shimla’s Theog, disaster management director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta said.

Three people were killed after their house collapsed following a landslide in Banet village in Chowari de Chamba around 4:30 a.m., Mokhta said. In Kangra, a “kutcha” house collapsed, killing a nine-year-old child, officials said. Meanwhile, trains on the Jogindernagar-Pathankot route were suspended due to the collapse of Chakki Bridge in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh due to heavy rains on Saturday, officials said.

Rail authorities have declared the bridge unsafe and rail service on the narrow gauge track from Pathankot (Punjab) to Jogindernagar (Himachal Pradesh) has been suspended, they added. In Hamirpur, 30 people stranded following a flash flood were safely evacuated, they said.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and BJP Chairman JP Nadda expressed grief over the deaths and said the administration was carrying out rescue operations on a war footing in the affected districts.

As many as 407 roads will be restored today and 268 will be cleared by tomorrow, he said. Police said the Chandigarh-Shimla trunk road was blocked to traffic after a landslide at Sonu Bangla between Shoghi and Tara Devi. Stones continue to fall and traffic has been diverted via the Shoghi-Mehli bypass, they added. Meanwhile, water and electricity supplies have been affected in several parts of the state.

At a meeting in Shimla, the Chief Secretary of State, RD Dhiman, ordered relevant departments to clear the roads so that the supply of basic needs would not be disrupted. He also ordered the videography of the damage caused by the heavy rains and provided shelter for those affected.

The Principal Secretary, Revenue told the Chief Secretary that Rs 232.31 crore has been released for the districts from the State Disaster Response Fund and sufficient funds are available from all districts to carry out relief and rehabilitation works.


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