Major landslide in Himachal's Kinnaur, more than 40 feared buried
A major landslide was reported from the Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday. The incident is feared to have buried more than 40 people under the debris, according to news agencies. Citing deputy commissioner Abid Hussain Sadiq, PTI reported that several vehicles, including a Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus carrying over 40 passengers, are currently buried under the debris.
Providing further details on the landslide, the Indo-Tibetan border police (ITBP) said that the incident occurred at around 12:45pm on the Reckong Peo-Shimla highway in the Kinnaur district. The aforementioned HRCTC bus, a truck, and other vehicles are reported to have come to under the rubble.
The border patrol organisation said that its troops rushed to the landslide site for rescue and are currently engaged in an operation to save the people who are reported to be trapped.
Speaking to reporters on the landslide, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jairam Thakur said that police and the local administration have been directed to carry out rescue operations, while the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been put on alert.
"I have directed the police and local administration to carry out rescue operations," the chief minister said. "The NDRF has also been put on alert. We have received information that one bus and a car could have been hit; we are awaiting detailed information on the matter."
Kinnaur has recently been the site of fatal landslides, triggered by inclement weather and the rainfall spell. As many as nine tourists were killed and three others, including a local resident, were injured when heavy boulders fell on their tempo traveller during multiple landslides on the Batseri-Sangla road in Kinnaur on Sunday.
Reoccurrences of landslides and flash floods in Himachal Pradesh this monsoon season have left environmentalists and geological experts concerned. The state has recorded an increase of 116% in the landslide incidents while cloudburst occurrences have gone up by 121% this monsoon season compared to 2020. Himachal has recorded 35 major landslides from June 13 — the onset of monsoon season in the state — till July 30, a pointer to the fragile ecology of the Himalayan region. Last year, 16 landslides were recorded across the hill state. Similarly, 17 incidents of flash floods were reported across the state this year compared to just nine last year.