Himachal Pradesh: Death Toll Reaches 48 As Devastating Rain Wreaks Havoc - Eastern Mirror
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Himachal Pradesh: Death toll reaches 48 as devastating rain wreaks havoc

By IANS Updated: Aug 14, 2023 7:09 pm
Himachal Pradesh rain tragedy
The police, district administration, and local residents conducts a rescue operation after a temple collapsed due to a massive landslide near Summer Hill in Shimla. (Photo: PTI)

SHIMLA — At least 48 people were killed, and many are feared missing on Monday due to heavy rainfall that triggered statewide flash floods and landslides, according to officials.

The fatalities included 13 in the state capital due to two landslide incidents, including the collapse of a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu assessed the situation in the landslide-hit Summer Hill area in Shimla and directed officials to expedite the rescue operation.

The Chief Minister informed the media that a gathering was taking place in the Lord Shiva temple at the time of the disaster, coinciding with the holy month of Shravan.

He expressed concerns that numerous individuals might be trapped under debris because of the heavy landslides.

Efforts to remove debris in search of survivors were in progress.

Sukhu stated that the entire state was grappling with a dire situation as cloudbursts and landslides affected multiple areas, resulting in significant loss of life and property.

“I offer my prayers for those who lost their lives and want to assure the affected families that the government stands with them in this hour of calamity. The government will provide all possible assistance to the affected families,” stated the Chief Minister.

Himachal Pradesh rain tragedy 2
In the wake of a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall in Shimla, individuals are seen pulling a vehicle to a safer location. (Photo: PTI)

He noted that the state had been dealing with the aftermath of the destruction caused by incessant rains from July 7 to 11.

The recent series of rains have once again presented considerable challenges, as there has been a substantial loss of life and property.

He expressed apprehension that the death toll could further rise since numerous individuals were still trapped in debris across various parts of the state.

The government was actively monitoring the situation and making efforts to safely evacuate stranded individuals, the Chief Minister said.

He maintained communication with Deputy Commissioners of all districts and received regular updates about the situation and ongoing relief and rescue operations.

He urged people to stay away from rivers and drains.

After assessing the relief and rescue work in Summer Hill, Sukhu visited Fagli, where five people lost their lives due to a landslide. However, five individuals were rescued.

In another natural disaster, a cloudburst triggered a flash flood and mudslide in the Kandaghat area of Solan district, burying seven individuals alive. The incident occurred around 1:30 a.m. in Jadon village, Dhawla sub-tehsil, approximately 45 km from the state capital.

Himachal Pradesh rain tragedy, more than 48 killed
Photo: PTI.

Officials informed IANS that four bodies had been recovered, and five individuals were rescued. Despite intermittent rain, rescue operations were ongoing to locate missing persons.

The rainfall havoc caused significant infrastructure damage and affected numerous lives in the hill state. In Mandi district, six individuals died due to rain-related disasters.

Mandi Deputy Commissioner Arindam Chaudhary indicated that the death toll could rise.

At Majhvar village, where two persons were reported missing, two houses and a cowshed were damaged.

The Chandigarh-Manali highway has been closed for traffic between Mandi and Kullu since Friday, while alternative routes between Mandi and Kullu were also blocked due to landslides on Monday.

The flow of the Beas River between Manali and Kullu has considerably increased, as have the areas adjacent to the river in Kullu, Mandi, Hamirpur, and the towns of Kangra and Nurpur.

By IANS Updated: Aug 14, 2023 7:09:43 pm
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