Shimla, August 18: At least 22 people were killed and 12 others injured in rain-related incidents in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday, officials said. An official said the total loss to the state property amounted to Rs 490 crore.
Officials said teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had been called in Kangra’s Nurpur and Solan’s Nalagarh subdivisions to meet any eventuality.
The Indian Meteorological Department in Shimla said the state received the highest-ever rainfall for a 24-hour period, since records began almost 70 years ago.
“The state as a whole received 102.5 mm and this was 1,065 per cent more than normal for this day,” IMD said in a statement. This is the highest ever rainfall in 24 hours over the state, it said.
Earlier, the highest rainfall in a day was recorded on August 14, 2011, and that was 74 mm.
Nine people died in Shimla, five in Solan, two each in Kullu, Sirmaur and Chamba; and one each in Una and Lahaul-Spiti districts, they added.
Landslides hit a spot near the RTO office in Shimla, leaving three persons dead. One person sustained injuries in the incident, police said.
In Narkanda area of Shimla district, two Nepalese died and three were injured after when a tree fell on their house.
In another incident, a labourer was killed and six injured as the wall of a house collapsed in the Lower Cemetery area following heavy rainfall early Sunday, police said.
The deceased has been identified as Shah Alam, who hailed from Bihar’s Kishanganj district.
A man was killed after a landslide hit his truck on the national highway near Hatkoti Kenchi in Shimla’s Rohru subdivision.
In Solan district, five people were killed in different incidents triggered by heavy rain in the industrial belt of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN).
Two members of a family — Avtar Singh and Karam Chand — were killed when their house at Manakpur village in Baddi industrial area caved in today morning. Avtar’s wife Poonam, who was also buried under the debris was rescued by police.
The NDRF team with the assistance of firemen rescued three members of the family of one Manjit Singh, who were stranded on the roof of their house at Bir Plassi village in Nalagarh when the Kahan river changed its course.
In another incident, a migrant labourer from Bihar, Vicky was killed when the wall of Dabur India Limited, where he was standing caved in. Another labourer, Rajesh escaped with minor injuries.
An unidentified body of a seven-year-old girl was found in the Sarsa river. Another unidentified body of a man was found at Haripur Sandholi village in the Baddi industrial area.
In Chamba district, two persons were killed in a house collapse.
The incident took place at Lona in Mehla subdivision at 3.30 am, killing a 70-year-old man and a 7-year-old child, Chamba SP Monica Bhutunguru said.
In Kullu, a man was washed away in Sujwad Nullah when locals were trying to rescue him. The deceased has been identified as Chooni Lal.
Besides, a tourist died due to a landslide in Balarga between Manikaran and Barsheni, Kullu Deputy Commissioner Richa Verma said.
All educational institutions in Shimla and Solan districts will remain closed on Monday as heavy to extremely heavy rain continue to lash the state, district officials said.
Hundreds of travellers stranded; landslides and snapped road links
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.
Traffic was hampered on 68 roads across the state and the maximum 47 blockades were in Chamba district, a government spokesperson said. The Mandi-Jogindernagar Highway was closed for traffic.
A Balley bridge near Kullu town was washed away due to flashflood.
As a precaution, excess water was released from the Sutlej 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.
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 Sutlej, Beas and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries have been again in spate in Kinnaur, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts.
According to the Met office, heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely at some places in the state till Monday.
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 at four-five places on the Shimla-Kalka track
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.