Heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh kill 60 people; 3 dead in Uttarakhand; IMD predicts heavy showers for next two days

The unprecedented rain in Himachal Pradesh has killed 60 people as of Wednesday in the recent incidents of landslides blocking major roads, overflowing rivers washing away homes and a cloudburst.

In a tragic accident, the Shiv Bawari temple in the Summer Hill area of Shimla collapsed due to landslide, killing 12 people and many fear dead or trapped, while a cloudburst in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh took seven lives.

The Sub Divisional Magistrate of Shimal (Urban), said, “Local people have confirmed the count that there can be 21 bodies. Out of which we have recovered 12 bodies in the last two days. Our search and rescue operation is going on. In our team, we have NDRF, SDRF, army, local police and home guard…If we get any positive news on some people being alive, we’ll rescue them properly”.

There has been no official arrangement to celebrate Independence Day today as the state is going through unusual monsoon which has wrecked havoc across the hilly state.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said, “We have already suffered an estimate lose of Rs 10,000 crore. I believe that such as calamity has never occurred (in Himachal Pradesh). I have convened two meeting over the crisis and we will handle the situation”.  

While speaking to ANI news agency on Tuesday, CM also stated that Solan, Shimla, Mandi, and Hamirpur are among the worst-affected districts in the state. He assured that said as many as rescue personnel possible are being deployed in relief and rescue work. Schools and teaching activities are being suspended in the state in view of incessant rainfall until 19 August. The Himachal Pradesh University library will also be closed until 20th August. “Reopening of schools will be decided based on weather conditions. One Army helicopter deployed in Shimla for any emergency…”, said Sukhu.

On Monday, the Himachal Pradesh government informed that the movement of trains between Kandaghat-Shimla has been cancelled as the “Kalka-Shimla railway track at km 92/6-92/7 between Jutogh & Summer Hill railway stations is washed away after landslide hit Shimla’s Summer Hill area. The movement of trains between Kandaghat-Shimla is cancelled”.

So far 14 bodies have been recovered from the sites of two landslides in Shimla district and more people are feared to be trapped under the debris, said officials. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is engaged in relief and rescue operations in rain-hit Himachal Pradesh informed Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand is also witnessing heavy rainfall triggering landslides in different parts of the state on Monday and search operations are in action to find the nine missing people.

According to the state disaster control room efforts are also resumed to reopen national highways, state highways and a large number of rural roads that are closed due to the accumulation of debris of the landslides.

On late Tuesday, one person died in Chamoli district as a house collapsed in Helang under the Joshimath area of the district. SDRF team rescued three people immediately and taken to hospital.

According to PTI report, four bodies have been recovered from different parts of Uttarakhand and nine people are still missing. According to the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), one person has died and four others were feared to be trapped under debris after a landslide hit the Night Life Paradise Camp in Uttarakhand’s Pauri district. “Yesterday a local caller informed the Pauri Police Control Room that Night Life Paradise Camp was hit by a landslide due to heavy rains in the Village of Jogiana, Mohanchatti. Screams could be heard from the camp where people are feared buried under the debris,” said SDRF.

The state administration has halted the Char Dham Yatra for two days as number of roads leading Badrinath, Kedarnath, and Gangotri shrines were damaged due to landslides.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday night issued a ‘red alert’ for several parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand stating that heavy to very heavy rainfall was likely to occur over the next 24 hours.

“In the next 48 hours, rainfall is likely to occur in many places across the state. An orange alert has been announced today for Kangra, Mandi and Shimla districts and for the rest, yellow alert has been announced. Tomorrow, there’s a yellow alert in Bilaspur, Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, Mandi, Kangra and Chamba… After August 16, rainfalls in the state may reduce but some places could still witness rainfall,” told Himachal Pradesh IMD Deputy Director Bui Lal while speaking to ANI.

As per Skymet, moderate to heavy rain is expected over Uttarakhand and Himachal during the next 2 days. Another heavy spell is possible from August 20.  

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