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This article was first published 1 year ago  » News » No let up in monsoon fury in Himachal, death toll rises to 18; 300 stranded

No let up in monsoon fury in Himachal, death toll rises to 18; 300 stranded

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
July 11, 2023 00:10 IST
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There was no let-up in the monsoon fury in Himachal Pradesh on Monday with flash floods and landslides claiming 18 lives over the past two days, affecting most hydropower projects and destroying property worth hundreds of crores of rupees.

IMAGE: A screen grab taken from video of a truck being swept away in a furiously flowing Beas river amid heavy rains in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, July 10, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo

Officials said over 300 tourists and local people are stranded in Chandertal, Pagal Nallah and other places in Lahaul and Spiti, while teams of National Disaster Response Force, police and home guard rescued 515 labourers from waterlogged slum areas at Lalsingi in Una district.


Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said efforts are on to rescue the 300 stranded people, and they could be airlifted as the weather clears. Power and water supply has been snapped in several areas.

He said an assessment of loss is underway and it is estimated to be in the range of Rs 3,000-Rs. 4000 crore, according to a government statement.

A preliminary estimates by the State Emergency Operation Centre, however, pegged the loss at Rs 785 crore. It reported 18 rain-related deaths since Sunday morning.

Officials said around 800 roads are still closed in the state. According to transport department officials bus services on 1,255 routes of the Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) have been suspended and 576 buses are stranded at different places on route.

Most hydropower projects have suspended production due to rise in silt level.

The Chandigarh-Manali National Highway is blocked due to landslides and flooding at multiple places. The Shimla-Kinnaur Road is also closed for vehicular traffic due to slides and falling of rocks.

Viral social media captured the destruction caused by the heavy rains. A clip showed a scary landslide at Ashwani Khad in Solan, while another recorded a three-storey hotel collapsing and sinking in Manali. Vehicles including trucks were swept away in gushing water in Kullu and floodwaters entered Thunag town in Mandi.

Three members of a Nepali family were killed as their house collapsed at Shimla's Theog, with the video of the incident going viral.

Swollen rivers threatened to sweep into residential areas as rescue operations continued till late in night using anchored rope, and harness and cranes. Flash floods washed away stretches of roads in some districts and smashed bridges.

Twenty-nine people were rescued from Potato Ground in Manali and six from a river near Nagwain in Mandi. Heavy rains are hampering the relief and rescue operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the CM and inquired about the extent of the damages and assured all possible assistance.

The CM stressed on the need to declare the situation as a national calamity and sought special economic package to aid in the state as the recovery process is estimated to take a long time, a statement issued here said.

On Monday morning, the meteorological department issued a "red" alert for "extremely heavy rains (above 204 mm) in eight out of 12 districts of the state. The Met also issued an orange warning of heavy rains on July 11.

Officials said rail operations on the Shimla-Kalka route, a UNESCO world heritage site, have been suspended till Tuesday as landslides blocked the track at multiple places while educational institutions across the state were ordered to remain shut on Monday and Tuesday.

The Shrikhand Mahadev Yatra in Kullu has also been terminated. Six pilgrims have died since the beginning on this season of the trek.

The Kullu administration has also announced a two days public holiday in the district on July 10 and 11. The state government has cancelled the leave of all field officers and asked them to report for duty immediately.

Landslides claimed four more lives in Shimla district alone on Monday. Three people died after a landslide struck a house in Theog subdivision of Shimla on Monday morning.

The incident occurred in Pallavi village and the deceased were identified as Deep Bahadur, Devdasi and Mohan Bahadur, police said.

The body of an elderly woman, who was trapped under debris following a landslide in Rajhana village on the outskirts of Shimla city, was retrieved on Sunday night, hours after the body of her granddaughter was recovered from the site.

Heavy damage has been witnessed Kullu and Mandi. Over 100 houses were evacuated in Mandi despite resistance of their owners in the wake of flood-like situation in Beas and its tributaries.

Houses were also endangered in Rampur subdivision of Shimla as Sutlej is in spate. "We had to leave our place due to the sudden rise in the water level of the Sutlej River," said Kresha, a resident of Rampur.

Raveena, who lives along the banks of the rivers, said water has entered her house and appealed to the government to help those affected by the deluge.

The chief minister also emphasised the restoration of roads in apple-growing regions at the earliest to ensure smooth transportation of apple crop. Earlier in a video, he appealed to the people to avoid venturing out in heavy rains, especially near rivers and nullahs, and remain vigilant.

He asked MLAs to stay in their respective constituencies and help the people in this hour of distress. He said the state government has released three numbers - 1100, 1070 and 1077 -- to help people in distress.

Nahan was the wettest place in the state on Monday with 288 mm rains followed by Pachhad (220 mm), Dhaulakuan (217 mm), Naina Devi (200 mm), Dharamshala and Chouri (both 190 mm) and Rohru (185 mm).

Una received 175 mm rainfall, Solan 170mm, Dadhau 160 mm, Sangraha 150 mm, Rampur 145 mm, Shimla 139, Narkanda 132 mm, Sujanpur Tira and Kasauli 130 mm.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.