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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

21 killed after heavy rain in Himachal; schools to be shut tomorrow

Three people, including two girls, died in landslide related incidents near the Regional Transport Office (RTO) building in Shimla on Sunday.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2019 19:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla/Dharamshala
People push a submerged car in the flood waters of the Beas river in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh on Sunday.
People push a submerged car in the flood waters of the Beas river in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh on Sunday. (Photo: Birbal Sharma /HT PHOTO.)

At least 21 people have been killed in the last 36 hours across Himachal Pradesh as relentless rains continue to hammer the hill-state causing widespread damage to roads, buildings and water supply schemes.

Nine people have died in Shimla and five in Solan. Four of a family, including a couple and their two girls died after they were hit by a landslide near the Regional Transport Office (RTO) office in Shimla on Sunday. The two teenage girls—Diya, 18, and Vishaka, 15, and their father Haridas, 46, who was pulled out from mounds of debris, were rushed to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMC).The girls were declared dead on arrival while the father succumbed to injuries during treatment. The woman identified as Krishna was later found dead under the rubble. Another person, who was trapped under the debris, was rescued and is undergoing treatment.

In another incident, a labourer was killed and six others injured when a retaining wall collapsed and broke into their room following heavy rains at Lower Cemetery area of the town. The deceased has been identified as Shah Alam, a native of Kishanganj, Bihar.

Seventy-year-old Kanth Singh and his granddaughter Palvi were killed as the wall of their house collapsed following heavy rains in Lona Gram panchayat of Chamba district. A similar incident claimed the life of a 29-year-old in Baddi of Solan district. The deceased, identified as Vicky, 29, of Bihar, was an employee of Dabur India Ltd.

In another incident, a man was killed after a landslide hit his truck on the national highway near Hatkoti Kenchi in Shimla’s Rohru subdivision. In a similar accident at Swarghat in Bilaspur district, a driver was killed after he was buried under landslide debris. The deceased has been identified as Ajinder Singh, a resident of Zirakpur, Punjab.

Two labourers died and five people sustained serious injuries when a tree fell on their makeshift house at Konthru near Narkanda in Shimla district. The deceased—Arjun Budha, 19, San Bahadur, 52, were residents of Nepal.

A 22-year-old tourist from Telangana, identified as Raghav, was killed after being hit by a boulder in Balarga area between Manikaran and Barsheni in Kullu district. He was returning after a trek on the Kheerganga route in Parvati Valley.

In Jibhi area of Kullu district, a man, identified as Chunni Lal, was washed away in a swollen rivulet when locals were trying to rescue him and is feared dead while Hoshyar Singh, 38, of village Kandalu of Jogindernagar subdivision of district Mandi was trapped under rubble and rescued. However, he was declared brought dead at the civil hospital in Manali.

Eight families were rendered homeless when a massive landslide hit Kathaalag village in Ghumarwin sub-division of Bilaspur district. The families have been moved to safer places.

Watch | Heavy rain throws life out of gear in Himachal Pradesh 

25 tourists rescued

Kullu deputy commissioner Richa Verma said that as many as 25 tourists were rescued from a hill top at Bakrathach valley. The tourists, who were without a professional guide, were en route to Beas Kund and were trapped on the hill top. Locals and experts of an adventure sports company initiated a rescue operation and shifted the tourists to civil hospital Manali.

More than 800 roads blocked, hundreds stranded

As many as 887 roads, including 13 national highways, across the state are blocked fully or partially due to landslides. Traffic on the Chandigarh-Manali national highway was blocked near Bilaspur town, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded. Traffic from Mandi to Kullu has been diverted through the Kataula-Bajaura road as the highway along the swollen Beas River is submerged in water.

Kullu deputy commissioner Richa Verma informed that as many as 60 roads were damaged during the last 12 hours due to incessant rains in Kullu.

There was also a landslide at Jarol near Sundernagar in Shimla district which disrupted the traffic on the busy highway for several hours on Sunday morning.The Hindustan-Tibet national highway (NH5) remains blocked at Siaskhad Bridge near Spillow, Ribbah and Nathpa.

The Kalka-Shimla highway was also damaged at several places. Traffic movement on the highway was hampered at Taradevi, Chharabra and Fagu, disrupting transportation of apple. A bridge near Kullu town was washed away due to flashfloods.

Over 1,000 people are stranded in Kodksar, Chhota Dara and Chandertal area of Lahaul-Spiti and Leh-Manali highway owing to landslides.

The rains adversely impacted electricity supply in Shimla town. More than a dozen localities in town went without electricity for several hours. Superintendent of police Omapati Jamwal said several people have been rescued and the police are continuously engaged in rescue work.

Schools, colleges to remain closed in five districts on Monday

All educational institutions in Himachal Pradesh’s five districts will remain closed on Monday as heavy to extremely heavy rains continue to lash the state, district officials said. Shimla, Kullu, Solan, Bilaspur and Sirmour district magistrates on Sunday issued orders to all schools, colleges, universities, ITIs, polytechnics and Anganwadi centres to remain shut for the safety of students.

“In view of heavy rains, blockages and damage caused to roads, it has become necessary to order closure of all the educational institutions in Shimla district on August 19 for the safety of students,” Shimla deputy commissioner cum district magistrate Amit Kashyap said.

The railway traffic on Shimla-Kalka, Joginderngar-Pathnakot and Una-Nangal lines also remained disrupted.

Keylong, the administrative headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti, Chandertal and 3978 metre high Rohtang pass experienced around 3cm snowfall on Sunday.

In Mandi town the ancient Panchvaktra temple, located on the banks of the Beas River, was partially submerged in the floodwaters. Several vehicles were also washed away in the gushing waters of Beas. In Chamba, a 60 metre portion of the Chamba-Bharmour highway was washed away in the swollen Ravi river. A threat also looms over the new bus stand of the town.