New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh has been hit hard by continuous rainfall, which has triggered landslides, cloudbursts and flash floods, causing severe damage to the fragile hill state. Officials said on Wednesday that 12 people died and over 400 roads were blocked due to heavy rains in the state overnight, besides destroying several houses, PTI reported. A video showing multiple buildings collapsing in Anni area of Kullu district has gone viral on social media. Several other videos of people escaping from landslides were also seen online.
This month, 120 people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents in the state, while 238 people have died and 40 are still missing since the monsoon started in Himachal Pradesh on June 24. The state government has earlier declared the entire state as a natural calamity affected area.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert on Thursday, forecasting heavy to very heavy rainfall in Himachal Pradesh for two days starting from Thursday. The ‘red alert’ warning was given for parts of Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Solan and Sirmaur districts. The MeT Department also gave an orange warning of heavy to very heavy rains on Thursday. The MeT also warned of moderate to high flash flood risk in Shimla, Sirmaur, Kangra, Chamba, Mandi, Hamirpur, Solan, Bilaspur and Kullu districts.
All schools and colleges were shut for two days from Wednesday in Shimla, Mandi and Solan districts.
Meanwhile, the residents faced a lot of problems as the state continued to receive relentless showers. The residents suffered more due to widespread water logging and falling trees, putting lives at risk.
Over 700 Roads Badly Affected
The Kullu-Mandi Highway in Himachal Pradesh was damaged due to heavy rainfall in the district, an official told ANI on Thursday. Hundreds of vehicles were stuck on the route. “There is a traffic jam of nearly 5-10 kilometres. We have nothing to eat or drink. People are starving here. The snarl should be cleared soon,” a commuter told ANI. The NH 154 (Mandi-Pathankot has also been badly affected. A total of 709 roads in the state are now closed after three major spells of heavy rains this Monsoon that have left a trail of death and destruction.
Shimla town was badly affected, with landslides and fallen trees blocking the main cart road, the lifeline of the town as well as the Shimla-Mehli bypass at several points. Many houses have also developed cracks and people have been moved out as a precautionary measure. In the last 24 hours, Shimla recorded 190 mm of rainfall, an official said, adding that the city received 60 mm of rainfall on Thursday morning.
As a safety measure, houses were evacuated in Panthaghati and Sanjauli areas of Shimla city and landslides and falling trees have been reported in some parts of the city, Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Aditya Negi said. Fearing danger, several people in Shimla city have left their houses and moved to other places.
A bus parked near the inter-state bus terminal in Shimla was buried after a landslide while several other vehicles were damaged in landslides near Navbahar, Himland and other places.
Many Shimla residents had a sleepless night as the city witnessed thunderstorms and lightning till 3 am. Commuters also had a hard time as buses were not running due to the risk of landslides and falling trees.
“I have walked for nearly six km to reach my office as buses were not running. We were scared all night as loss of life in recent landslides have triggered fear,” said Jagat Ram, a resident.
Heavy rains battered several parts of the state overnight, with Bilaspur 181 mm, Mandi and Berthin 160 mm each, Nahan and Solan 122 mm each, Sundernagar 113 mm, Palampur 91 mm.
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