The death toll in the rain-triggered landslides and flash floods in Himachal Pradesh in the last 24 hours has risen to 21, while six persons are feared missing. According to the state disaster management officials, the downpour has resulted in 34 incidents of landslides, and flash floods in several districts.
On Saturday evening, a rolling boulder fell on a tourist car from Uttar Pradesh, killing two persons instantly and injuring two passengers who have been admitted to Theog for further treatment.
A railway bridge on the Chakki river situated in the Kangra district on the Punjab-Himachal Pradesh border collapsed due to the heavy flow of water and monsoon. The 800-meter-long narrow gauge route was built during British rule. It allegedly collapsed as the pillars were weakened by the force of water. The railway track serves as a key travel route for locals in the area.
A landslide erupted in Banet village of Chamba at 4.30 am, in which three persons of a family died. Their bodies were recovered following a search operation by the police force and the revenue department.
Mandi’s Kashan village was also struck by a landslide where the bodies of eight persons were found. The deceased were trapped in a house that was crushed by the debris, a senior administration official said. Several roads in the Mandi district were also blocked following flash floods and multiple landslides. Schools in the district remained closed on Saturday due to ongoing incessant rains
In Hamirpur, 22 people, including children, were trapped in a flash flood at Kheri Sujanpur around 6 am as water enveloped more than 10 houses. Nineteen of them had been rescued when reports last came in, while two animals were washed away.
An entire village was inundated with water due to a flash flood in Kangra and more than 500 persons had to be evacuated. The Kangra district administration has appealed to tourists and locals to avoid visiting streams and rivers which are flowing above the danger mark.
The India Meteorological Department has issued alerts that moderate to heavy rainfall is likely to occur over the course of the next week.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur expressed condolences to the families of the deceased and directed the district administrations to expedite relief, rescue, and rehabilitation efforts.
Emergency meeting held, Rs 232 crore disbursed
An emergency meeting was held Saturday afternoon under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary to assess the damage in the last 24 hours. The revenue department has released Rs 232 crore to the rain-affected districts from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) in order to carry out relief operations.
A total of 742 roads were closed across the state due to the impact of the rains.
The district authorities have also been instructed to provide beds and rations to people evacuated from the affected regions.