MeT department issues orange alert for heavy rains in Himachal for two days

Published on Jul 07, 2022 07:03 PM IST
The administration has instructed people not to go near rivers and has ordered removal of all campsites in the vicinity of riverbanks; water sports also banned in HP’s Kullu
Incessant rainfall has increased the water levels of Beas, Parbati, Sarvari, Manalsu, Allain and other rivers and rivulets in the hill state. (HT Photo)
Incessant rainfall has increased the water levels of Beas, Parbati, Sarvari, Manalsu, Allain and other rivers and rivulets in the hill state. (HT Photo)
By, Shimla

Himachal Pradesh got scattered showers on Thursday with the meteorological department warning of heavy rain till July 11 and issuing an orange alert for Friday and Saturday even as rescuers searched for the four men who went missing after flashfloods destroyed three camping sites at Chonjh village in Kullu district on Wednesday.

“Heavy to very heavy rain with thunderstorm and lightning is likely to take place on Friday and Saturday across the state, causing flashfloods and triggering landslides. Bad weather conditions are expected to continue till next week, Shimla MeT centre director Surender Paul said.

He said isolated pockets in the state have been experiencing light rain since Wednesday evening. Nahan got 20.8mm of rainfall, Paonta Sahib 10.8mm and Kasauli 8mm. Dhaulakuan experienced 7.5mm of rainfall, Solan 4.8mm, Dalhousie 4mm, Chamba 3mm and Kufri 2.2mm.

Heavy rain damaged roads and electricity lines in Kullu district. Five roads in Kullu were blocked for the second day due to landslides. Rain impacted the electricity transmission lines. A total of 168 electricity lines have been damaged. Nine water supply lines were damaged in Kullu alone.

Shimla Jal Prabandhan Nigam Limited (SJPNL) managing director Pankaj Lalit, “Heavy turbidity (cloudiness or haziness caused by suspended solids) has led to water shortage in Shimla town. Water supply, which was 39MLD on July 6, reduced to 22 MLD on Thursday. High silt levels due to flooding in catchment areas has made water lifting difficult.”

49 lives lost since onset of monsoon

So far, rain-related mishaps have claimed 49 lives in the hill state since the onset of monsoon on June 29.

At 15, the maximum fatalities have been reported from Kullu, followed by eight in Mandi and five in Shimla. The public works department has suffered losses amounting to 44.98 crore due to damages to roads and bridges, while the cumulative loss is approximately 47.51 crore.

Rescuers continued to search for the four men who went missing after flashfloods destroyed three camping sites at Chonjh village in Kullu district on Wednesday. (HT PHOTO)
Rescuers continued to search for the four men who went missing after flashfloods destroyed three camping sites at Chonjh village in Kullu district on Wednesday. (HT PHOTO)

Rivers in spate, Kullu admn bans rafting

Incessant rainfall has increased the water levels of Beas, Parbati, Sarvari, Manalsu, Allain and other rivers and rivulets in the hill state. Given that a sudden increase in water level could prove fatal, the Kullu administration has instructed people not to go near rivers and has ordered removal of all campsites in the vicinity of riverbanks.

It has also suspended river rafting, the primary tourist attraction. “All types of water sports and adventure activities including rafting, kayaking, and zip lining across water bodies, are banned till further orders,” the notice stated .

Kullu additional district magistrate Prashant Sirkek said, “There is a likelihood of landslides, cloudbursts, and flash floods in the area, which may lead to mishaps or disaster.

In his orders, the Kullu district magistrate, under sections of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, directed authorities concerned to remove all campsites adjoining river banks and nullahs and in landslide-prone areas till further orders. District tourism development officers, executive magistrates, divisional forest officers and police personnel have been tasked with ensuring implementation.

As per the orders, those who fail to comply, may be fined and/or imprisoned up to a year, while if refusal to comply with direction results in loss of lives, the accused may be jailed for up to two years.

Superintendent of Police Gurudev Sharma said, “The National Disaster Response Force, quick-reaction teams, police personnel and home guards initiated the search operation for four the missing persons – Rohit of Sundernagar, Kapil of Rajasthan, Rahul Chaudhary of Dharamshala and Arjun of Banjar – who were swept in the flashfloods at the break of dawn, but to no avail.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gaurav Bisht heads Hindustan Times’ Himachal bureau. He covers politics in the hill state and other issues concerning the masses.

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