Heavy rains lash Himchal Pradesh, landslides at many places


Shimla: Heavy rain wreaked havoc at many places in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday, causing floods and landslides and forcing the closure of over 300 roads, as Monsoon bounced back in the hill state.

The local MeT office has issued an orange alert of heavy to very rainfall on Sunday and a yellow warning of heavy rain on Monday.

Twelve passengers were injured when a Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) bus met with an accident following caving-in of the road near Kango on the Mandi-Shimla highway in Mandi district in the wee hours, officials said.

The passengers had a narrow escape as the bus stopped over the sunken stretch of the road and did not roll into a khud, they said.

So far 255 persons have died in rain-related incidents and road accidents in Himachal during the ongoing Monsoon season since June 24, according to the data of the state emergency operation centre.

“Continuous heavy rain has resulted in caving in of roads, building collapse, landslides and increase in water levels in the rivers and streams. DGP Sanjay Kundu has directed the district superintendents of police to be on alert and advise hospitals to be in readiness,” a statement issued here on Saturday said.

Kullu-Manali areas were cut off as landslides blocked the Mandi–Kullu National Highway between Mandi and Pandoh.

Several alternative routes were blocked as swollen waters of Suketi Khud not only flooded the areas along the banks and the roads but also entered the houses in Balh valley in Mandi.

The local administration sounded an alert advising the people in the valley to remain confined to their houses.

The Shimla-Kalka National Highway remained blocked for several hours after a fresh landslide at Chakki Mor and was partially opened for light vehicles in the afternoon. However, a large number of landslides on this stretch and fog were hindering traffic.

As many as 302 roads were closed in the state, according to officials.

So far 255 persons have died in rain-related incidents (146) and road accidents (109) in Himachal during the ongoing monsoon season since June 24, while and the state has suffered losses of Rs 6807 crore.

The road to Sri Nainadevi temple was also blocked due to a landslide and people were asked to take the alternative route to reach the temple.

A major landslide occurred in the Nalagarh area of Solan district following heavy rains and four rooms of about 600-year-old Nalagarh Fort collapsed on Friday night.

Raja Bikram Chand of the Chand dynasty of Himachal Pradesh had constructed the fort in 1421 AD and presently it has been converted into a resort by the erstwhile royal family.

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