House collapses in HP’s Sirmaur, 5 feared trapped

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Nahan: Five members of a family are feared trapped under the debris of a house that collapsed after water from a cloudburst gushed into a village in Himachal Pradesh’s Sirmaur district, officials said on Thursday.

The cloudburst occurred in the Poanta Sahib area of the district on Wednesday night, they said and added that water entered several houses in Malagi Dadiyat village.

One of these houses collapsed. Five members of a family are feared trapped under its debris, the officials said. The state emergency operation centre stated that heavy damages have been caused to properties in Malagi Dadiyat and the house of Kuldeep Singh, who works at the Public Works Department, has collapsed.

Those feared trapped are Singh, his wife Jeeto Devi, Rajni Devi, Nitesh and Deepika. Search and rescue operations are underway, the officials said.

Following the cloudburst, a section of the National Highway-707, connecting Poanta with Shallai, was blocked, making it difficult for officials from the administration and police to reach the Malagi Dadiyat.

The road’s section between Rajban and Sataun was blocked and due to the cloudburst, the water level of the Giri river has also increased, the officials said.

The administration is trying to get personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to aid operations, they said.

So far, 231 people have died in rain-related incidents and road accidents in the state since the onset monsoon. Himachal Pradesh has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 6,731 crore, according to the emergency centre. About 190 roads are still closed in the state.

The local meteorological office has issued a yellow warning of heavy rains on Thursday and Sunday. It has predicted a wet spell in the region till August 15.

It also cautioned of landslides, flash floods, mudslides and increase in water flow in rivers and nullahs.

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