Heavy rain across country, Himachal worst hit

Updated on Aug 12, 2022 12:25 PM IST

In Himachal Pradesh and J&K, the heavy rains and landslides also disrupted traffic on several roads, including Jammu-Srinagar and Kullu-Mandi highways, local disaster management officials said on Thursday.

Shimla, India - August 11: Three cars and a pickup vehicle were swept away in the flash flood due to heavy rain in Nerwa, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India, on Thursday, August 11, 2022. (HT Photo) (HT Photos) PREMIUM
Shimla, India - August 11: Three cars and a pickup vehicle were swept away in the flash flood due to heavy rain in Nerwa, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India, on Thursday, August 11, 2022. (HT Photo) (HT Photos)
By, Chandigarh/dehradun/mumbai

At least eight people died and several others were injured in various regions of the country as torrential rains due to cloudbursts triggered landslides and swept away vehicles, houses and shops in the northern states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand in the last 24 hours, while heavy downpour lashed the central Indian states of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

In Himachal Pradesh and J&K, the heavy rains and landslides also disrupted traffic on several roads, including Jammu-Srinagar and Kullu-Mandi highways, local disaster management officials said on Thursday.

Officials said that 88 roads were affected in multiple districts due to the rains, which also damaged high tension power lines across the state.

“The relief and restoration work has been undertaken at the warfooting and the revenue staff has been directed to assess the loses,” said director of state disaster management authority, Sudesh Mokta.

A red alert has been issued for the coming days by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) for three north-west Himalayan states till August 14, as the weather office warned that heavy to very heavy rains and cloudbursts are expected in some areas. Advisories have also been issued for people in these regions to maintain caution and avoid travel during the period.

Of those killed in Himachal were two women--identified as Chavelu Devi (54) and Kritika (17)--who were buried alive in Kullu district when debris from the landslide fell on their house. The landslides and gushing river water washed away 10 shops and three vehicles, besides choking the national highway at several places, Mokhta said.

Mokhta said the cloudburst took place at Deuthi gram panchayat in Anni tehsil of Kullu around 7.30am, that led to a sudden increase in flow of local streams which caught the locals unware.

In Shimla district, three cars and a pickup vehicle was washed away in the torrential rains at Diyandali Nullah in Chopal tehsil, Mokhta added. In Mandi district, the Mandi-Kullu national highway was blocked near Pandoh following a landslide on Thursday morning, he said, adding that vehicular traffic was then diverted through Kataula.

In Chamba district, a crasher, two compressor machines and a store of a construction company was washed away following a cloudburst near Ala Nullah in Bharmour tehsil, Mokhta said.

Meanwhile, a flood-like situation was reported in Lahaul-Spiti district, where National Highway-3 was blocked, while rocks continued to fall near Kuthbihal after flashfloods at Telling nullah in Lahaul subdivision of the district, he added. Flashfloods were also reported from Sindhwari nullah in Udaipur sub-division and at Lote and Tozing Nullahs in Lahaul subdivision, the official added.

Two women were also washed away in flashfloods in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban district. Ramban senior superintendent of police Mohita Sharma said the incident occurred following a heavy downpour on Thursday afternoon that triggered a flashflood in Nera rivulet. The gushing water entered into the house of one Shabir Ahmed just below the Jammu-Srinagar national highway in Mehar area of the district.

“Panicked by the water entering their house, Shamima Bano and her daughter Rozia Bano came out of their house and were swept away in the flashfloods,” the SSP said, adding that efforts are on to look for their bodies.

Following heavy rains across the region, shooting stones and mudslides blocked the 270km-long Jammu-Srinagar national highway in the district on Thursday, said police officials.

“Jammu-Srinagar is blocked at Mehar and Cafeteria Morh in Ramban due to mudslides and shooting stones. However, Mughal road and SSG road through for vehicular movement,” a police officer said.

In Uttarakhand, a 40-year-old unidentified man was washed away in Asan river on Thursday morning in Dehradun district. A team of Sahaspur police recovered the body after an hour. A police officer said that they were trying to ascertain the man’s identity.

Water from the swollen Sheetla river in the same area entered into Charba village, flooding houses and trapping families on Thursday afternoon. A team of the state disaster response force (SDRF), along with police officials, was rushed to the spot to rescue the trapped families, said Deep Shikha Rawat, district disaster management authority officer, Dehradun.

Overall, Uttarakhand reported 34mm rainfall in 24 hours between Wednesday and Thursday morning, with Dehradun recording 81.1mm rain, Uttarkashi 70.6mm rain , Chamoli 33.9mm rain while Pithoragarh district recorded 35.6mm of rainfall.

Meanwhile, in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore, two people were swept away in swollen drains following heavy rains, and efforts were on to trace them, police said. Chandan Nagar police station in-charge Abhay Nema said that locals informed them about Zakir Khan (24) accidentally falling into a drain in Sirpur area of the city on Wednesday afternoon. Hours later, 26-year-old Durga Jaiswal was swept away in an overflowing drain in Banganga area.

In Gondia district of Maharashtra, a car carrying three people was swept away in a swollen drain at Kidangipaar on Wednesday night, district disaster management officer (DDMO) Rajan Choubey said. Two of them people were later rescued, while efforts were on to trace the third person, he said.

Local officials said some rivers in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra were also flooded after heavy showers, and several people from Bhandara and Chandrapur were shifted to safer places. The heavy rains also caused damage to crops and an assessment survey was on, an agriculture department official said.

(With agency inputs)

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