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9 dead as heavy rain wreaks havoc in HP, hundreds stranded

Chandigarh, August 18:  Incessant rain accompanied by strong winds wreaked havoc in different parts of Himachal Pradesh during the last 36 hours, killing at least nine and causing widespread damage to roads and buildings.

rain himachal

Hundreds of travellers remained stranded after rain triggered landslides and snapped road links.

Three people, including two teenage girls, died in incidents set off by continuous rain in Shimla on Sunday. The two teenage girls, Diya and Vishaka, were brought to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, which declared they were brought dead. Their father, Haridas, was pulled out from the under piles of mud that they were buried under near the RTO office in the city.

Shimla Superintendent of Police Umpati Jamwal said one person was still trapped under the landslide.

In another incident, a labourer, Shah Alam, died when a wall collapsed over him in Shimla’s Lower Cemetery. Police said a group of daily wagers were sleeping when a retaining wall collapsed on them in their room. They were immediately taken to the IGMC, where Alam was declared brought dead.

Six other people were wounded in the incident, of which one is believed to be serious. The labourers were from Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

DSP Praveer Thakur said occupants of the damaged building had been asked to clear the place because it was found unsafe.

This takes Shimla’s death toll in the heavy spell of rain to five.

Shimla Deputy Commissioner Amit Kashyap has announced schools would remain closed on Tuesday.

The region has been witnessing heavy and continuous since Saturday.

National highways Shimla-Mandi, Kalka Shimla and Chandigarh-Manali and Chamba-Pathankot have seen landslides since it began raining. A swollen Beas as flooded the Chandigarh-Manali highway near Dwada.

Shimla Tutikandi bypass highway has been closed since morning due to landslides and uprooted trees at several places.

The Shimla-Kalka-Narkanda and Shimla-Mandi road, also affected by the rain, have already opened to traffic.

Two died in rain-related incidents in Kumarsain’s Halnidgar.

As a precaution, excess water was released from the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd’s (SJVNL) 1,500 MW Nathpa Jhakri plant — India’s largest hydro project in Kinnaur district, which led to flooding in the Satluj river, he said.

In Ghumarwin in Bilaspur district, eight families and their livestock were evacuated from their houses owing to flooding in the area.

In Chamba district, two people, including a 70-year-old person, were reported missing in landslide in Lona gram panchayat in Chamba district. Boulders smashed their house, the police said. A road was collapsed near new bus stand in Chamba after heavy rain.

The entire Kangra district has been experiencing heavy rain for the past two days.

Precipitation occurred at most places in the state with very heavy rainfall in Kangra and Chamba districts in the past 24 hours, an official of the meteorological office here said.

There were reports of link road closure in interiors of Shimla, Sirmaur, Mandi, Kangra and Kullu districts, hampering movement of traffic.

The spokesperson said the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries have been again in spate in Kinnaur, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts.

One person swept away by the gushing waters of Sajvar nullah in Kullu district.

According to the Met office, heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely at some places in the state till Monday.

Two houses collapsed in Nalagarh’s Manakpura and Panjhera, killing one person and trapping another, rescuers said. Rescuer operations are under way at both places.

The Bagvania Bridge that connects Baddi to Nalagarh was closed and the whole area is submerged in water.

Train services between Shimla and Kalka were disrupted on Sunday after multiple landslides blocked the rail route in Himachal Pradesh, a rail official said.

Landslides occurred at four-five places on the Shimla-Kalka track following heavy rains in the region, he added.

A Shimla-bound train from Kalka had started at 3 am but had to be terminated midway at Dharampur Railway Station at 5 am due to landslides, he added.

Subsequently it was decided not to run any train till the clearance of the track, he added. Train services on the Shimla-Kalka route are likely to resume on Monday after the track is cleared.

Meanwhile, an official said the gates of the Pandoh and the Nathpa Jhakri dams are being opened as the water level in the Beas and Sutlej rivers is very high,

People have been asked to stay away from rivers, rivulets and streams in the state to avoid any untoward incident, the official said.

The Nathpa Jhakri hydroelectric station is also being shut down due to the increasing silt content in the Sutlej river, he said.



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