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Five Killed as Heavy Rains Lash Himachal

As many as 736 roads have been closed for traffic while 1,743 transformers, and 138 water supply schemes were affected on Sunday morning.
Himachal Pradesh

Image credit: PTI

Shimla: Heavy rains pounded Himachal Pradesh, triggering landslides, damaging houses and leaving five people dead, officials said on Sunday.

Three members of a family were killed in a house collapse following landslide due to rains in Kotgarh area of Shimla district. The deceased were identified as Anil, his wife Kiran and son Swapnil, officials said.

A landslide also damaged a makeshift house near Kullu town, leaving a woman dead.

In another incident, a person was buried alive following a landslide in Katiyan tehsil of Chamba on Saturday night.

Thirteen landslides and nine flash floods have been reported in the state in the past 36 hours, according to the state emergency operation centre.

As many as 736 roads have been closed for traffic while 1,743 transformers, and 138 water supply schemes were affected on Sunday morning.

National Highway 21 is blocked at 6 mile (name of the place). This is the same place where the commuters were struck for almost 24 hours on June 27 last due to a landslide. Mandi-Kullu road via Kamand was also blocked near Ghoda farm. The Manali-Chandigarh also caved in near Manali.

Reports of shops being swept away in Manali, vehicles being washed away in flash floods at Nullah in Kullu, Kinnaur and Chamba and loss to agricultural land have also poured in. Several roads have also been closed in Shimla districts.

All the major rivers, including Ravi, Beas, Satluj, Chenab, are in spate and tourists and commuters have been asked to avoid travelling during heavy rains and not to venture out near river bodies.

Deputy Commissioner Kullu, Ashutosh Garg said the Kullu-Manali road is blocked at several places due to landslides and rock falling and Beas River is in spate near Ramshela and traffic has been halted from Kullu to Manali and Manali to Atal Tunnel.

He said landslides have also occurred on Mandi-Kullu road and only emergency vehicles are allowed on this stretch. The administration has asked the tourists and residents to avoid venturing out in heavy rains.

All the trains between UNESCO heritage Shimla and Kalka track have been cancelled as landslides and falling of trees blocked the railway track at many places.

Four tourists had a narrow escape on Saturday night as a stone fell on their vehicle near Chadol on Chandigarh-Manali highway. The tourists were on their way to Manali when the incident occurred and were rescued by the locals.

Thirty college students stranded between Gramphu and Chota Dharra on Sundo-kaza-Gramphu (National Highway 505) following road block due to landslide and flash floods at several places were rescued by the Lahaul and Spiti authorities on Saturday night.

Heavy to extremely heavy rains lashed several parts of the state in the past 24 hours.

Nangal Dam at Bilaspur received 282.5mm rains followed by Bilaspur 224 mm, Dehra Gopipur 175.4 mm, Una 166.2 mm, Chamba 146.5  mm, Dalhousie 143 mm, Nahan and Manali 131.2 mm, Bilaspur 130 mm, Dharamsala 126.4 mm, Gondla 112 mm, Kangra 108 mm, Solan 107 mm, Jubbarhatti 103 mm, Bhuntar 101 mm, Palampur 94  mm, Narkanda 88 mm, Sundernagar 83 mm, Mandi 80 mm, Shimla 79.4 mm and Mashobra 70 mm. 

The local met office had issued a red alert of extremely heavy rains (above 204 mm) in seven districts of the state on July 8 and 9. It has also cautioned of high flash flood risk over a few watersheds in Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Shimla, Sirmaur and Mandi districts.

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