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Himachal: Heavy Monsoon Rain Brings Destruction Across State, Causes Loss of Lives, Property



Floods and landslides in himachal pradesh

Shimla-After remaining weak for a month since the early arrival in Himachal Pradesh on June 13, the monsoon took a drastic turn and lashed the state with heavy rains since yesterday. In one day, the rain has caused devastation in some parts of the state. But, at the same time, the spell has brought relief to horticulturists.

Various parts of Himachal Pradesh on Monday witnessed torrential downpours, flash floods, and landslides. The worst hit was Kangra district. Heavy rainfall in the upper catchment area of Bhagasu Nag water body in Dharamshala triggered a dreadful flash flood that swept through the city and washed away several vehicles, buildings, and roads. Visual shared by locals showed the flooded area of Dharamshala as well as other parts where water bodies originating in Dhauladhar flow. The Manji River was in spate which caused extensive damage to some buildings.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department, Dharamshala recorded precipitation of 184 mm, which is the highest during this monsoon.

While local and national media claimed it to be a cloudburst, the IMD rejected the claims of a cloudburst in the upper catchment area of Bahgasu water body and termed it only a spell of heavy rainfall.

photo of dharamshala flash flood

Cars Swept Away by Gushing Waters in Dharamshala

Further, tourists were present in hotels of Dharamshala in large numbers. The flood swept away cars parked on the roadside and hotel parking, causing a commotion among the tourists.  The issue of encroachment around Bhagasu water body that narrowed the stream and construction on drainage spaces are also being linked to the flash flood. 

The government has issued an advisory for tourists to refrain from wandering near water bodies of other places vulnerable to landslides. It also appealed not to undertake journey in affected areas until it’s unavoidable. 

building swept away in dharamshala

Building Collapsed in Flash Flood in Dharamshala

In Shahpur, a video showed a bridge being washed away. In Boh valley of the Shahpur constituency, a landslide said to have washed away about half a dozen houses. While two persons were reportedly killed due to the landslide, about 10 others were said to be missing. The road to Boh was also disconnected. Some houses had to be vacated following the landslide.

The Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, Nipun Jindal, confirmed the report. He was on his way to Boh at the time of writing this report.

The Gaggal Airport was also closed for traffic due to the inclement weather. Some shops adjoining to the area were damaged. An official of the district administration told IANS that damage was caused to property mainly built on encroached land.

In an order issued today, district officials in Kangra have been asked to remain alert.

The state government has directed the district administration to assess the losses and carry out rescue work. The Centre government said that National Disaster Management Force was on its way to affected areas.

Heavy rain lashed Sirmaur and Solan districts too. In Nahan, debris flooded houses and crops were swept away. Similarly, the rain threw life into disarray in Nalagarh and Baddi areas where  heavy rains caused damage.

building collapse in shimla's chaupal

Building Collapses in Chaupal, Shimla

In Kupawi Tehsil of Chaupal sub-division in Shimla district, a building made of mostly wood and containing about 15 rooms, collapsed, leaving one person injured while other family members had a narrow escape.  

The Aut-Largi-Sainj road was also closed following a flood in Pagalnala. The Mandi-Kullu-Manali NH was completely disconnected from the Chandigarh duet to a landslide. Public transport and tourist vehicles were said to be stuck.

landlside in kullu-mandi road

Mandi-Kullu Road blocked following a landslide

The Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that Himachal Pradesh will experience heavy rains during the next few days. The HP Meteorological Department has issued an orange weather warning of heavy to very heavy rains in plains and mid-hills on July 12 and 13 July and a yellow weather warning for July 14 and 15 in the state.



Video: Massive Landslide in Sirmaur Caught on Camera, NH 707 Closed for Traffic



Sirmaur landslide nh 707

Sirmaur-Incessant rains have caused another massive landslide in the Sirmaur district on National Highway 707. A 100 to 150 meters stretch of Paonta Sahib – Shillai road near Kali Dhank, Badwas, caved in within a few minutes.

According to the initial information received, no loss of lives or damage to any vehicle was reported as a minor slide from the hill had alerted the people.

The landslide completely damaged several electricity poles, causing a blackout in some parts of the region.

The district police is re-directing all traffic from Paonta Sahib to Shillai to the Puruwala-Kilod-Jong-Kafota-Shillai route.

Further, all traffic movement towards Shimla from the region has also been re-directed.

The HP Meteorological Department has issued a yellow alert for the state till August 2th, while widespread rain has been predicted till August 4th. 

The Met has also issued an alert for flash-floods for Chamba, Mandi, Kullu, Shimla, and Solan districts.

It’s pertinent to mention that furious monsoon has already claimed over 200 lives and caused damages to property worth hundreds of crores in Himachal Pradesh.

During the last two days, as many as 21 people had died due to landslides and flash floods triggered by cloudbursts. Some of the persons who were swept away or buried were yet to be traced.

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Himachal: Cloudbursts, Landslides Claim 9 Lives in 48 Hours, 7 Still Missing, Met Issues Alert Till August 1st  



monsoon damage in himachal pradesh 2021

Shimla-Monsoon continues to pummel Himachal Pradesh with deadly ferocity, leading to more cloudbursts, landslides, and flash floods. Several rivers and rivulets are in spate. Incessant rains could bring more destruction as the HP Meteorological Department has forecast widespread heavy rains till August 1st. While a red alert was issued for July 28, an orange alert has been issued for July 29 and July 30 and a yellow alert for July 31st and August 1st.

An advisory has been issued for locals and tourists to not venture near the river banks and avoid unnecessary travel as incessant rains could lead to more landslides, flash floods, and uprooting of trees.  However, tourists could be seen resolutely ignoring these warnings and partying near river banks and water bodies.

As devastation unfolds, the death toll due to monsoon induced calamities has reached nearly 200, while damages to property were assessed to be in hundreds of crores. Over 350 roads, including Manali-Leh, Pathankot-Chamba, and Shimla-Kalka, were blocked due to landslides.  Half a dozen bridges, as many as 30 houses and several vehicles were destroyed. Hundreds of tourists were reportedly struck in Lahaul.

lahaul-spiti cloudburst

After a flash flood in Dharamshala, a massive landslide in Shahpur constituency, and a horrid rockslide in Kinnaur district that killed nine tourists and injured four people, a cloudburst triggered a flash flood in Lahaul-Spiti district on Tuesday that washed away over a dozen of people, who were said to be labourers.  

cloudburst in lahaul-spiti

According to the Director of the State Disaster Management, Sudesh Kumar, at the time of writing this report, seven bodies had been recovered while four others were missing. The cloudburst occurred over Tonzin nallah in the Lahaul region of the tribal district. Rescue operations were in progress to trace missing persons.

A team of the National Disaster Response Force, which was on its way to Lahaul-Spiti through road, remained stuck in Mandi for several hours.  

On Wednesday morning, cloudburst was reported in Kullu district resulting in deluging of Bhramhaganga – a tributary of Parvati river. A  tourist, a 25-year-old mother along with her 4-year-old son, and a hydropower official came in its spate and were yet to be traced. Beas river was also in spate and people living in shanties on its bank were evacuated. 

Beas in spate

Rackham area in Kinnaur district also reported heavy losses due to a cloudburst on Wednesday morning.

While a rockslide killed one person in Chamba’s Saluni, a helper tagged with a JCB deployed for clearing Bharmaur-Pathankot National Highway was swept away by gushing waters of a nullah on Tuesday night. His body was recovered on Wednesday.

In Shimla, a landslide between Vikasnagar and Panthaghati crushed a vehicle and caused damaged to some others. Gumma khud in Chirgaon was also in spate and reportedly swept away a bridge and about four vehicles. 

landslide in shimla crushed car

Dharamsala received the highest 122 mm of rain, followed by Una 119 mm. In Solan district, Kasauli and Nalagarh also received over 105 mm rain. 

This widespread destruction has worried climatologists and environmentalists who are linking increased instances of landslides and cloudburst to environmental degradation and destabilization of hills due to developmental projects, including cutting of hills for widening of roads, construction of four lanes, hydropower projects etc. 

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Kinnaur: Massive Landslide Caught on Camera, Kills 9 Tourists, Injures 4, Destroys Bailey Bridge



kinnaur landslide in batseri

Kinnaur: A massive landslide in Batseri on Sangla-Chitkul road in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday killed nine persons and injured at least four others. Huge boulders rolled down the mountain following the landslide and destroyed an iron Bailey bridge and many vehicles parked along the road within a few seconds.

A tourist vehicle, which was reportedly carrying about 11 tourists from Delhi NCR, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Chattisgarh, was hit by boulders near Gunsa, killing nine tourists. A couple of videos of this heart-wrenching incident went viral on social media. In the video, some people can be heard whistling and shouting to warn others.

“Nine people died, and three were injured after boulders rolled downhill due to a landslide in Kinnaur district. Batseri bridge collapsed in the incident. A rescue team is present at the spot,” Superintendent of Police (SP), Kinnaur, Saju Ram Rana said.

The intensity with which boulders hit could be assessed from the fact that the iron bailey bridge on the Baspa river collapsed instantly. 

Video of landlside in himachal pradesh

On receiving the information, teams of district police and Indo-Tibetan Border Police rushed to the spot and initiated a rescue operation. The district administration was also assessing the situation. As per reports, rocks sliding down from the hilltop made the rescue operation difficult for the teams.

sangla valley landslide

As per initial reports, a request was made to make a helicopter available to aid rescue work, which was yet to be fulfilled.

landslide in himachal pradesh

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur also expressed grief over the incident. An ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh was announced for the deceased while injured would be given Rs. 50 thousand.

The exact cause behind the landslide was yet to be ascertained.

The deceased were identified as:

  1. Pratiksha Sunil Patil (27) from Sadhbhawna Nagar, Nagpur, Maharashtra
  2. Deepa Sharma (34) from Jaipur
  3. Amoghi Bapat (27) from Korba Darri in Chhatisgarh
  4. Umrab Singh (42) of Tagore Garden West Delhi
  5. Kumar Ulhas vedpathak (37)
  6. Anurag Biyani (31) from Sikar in Rajasthan, his mother Maya Devi Biyani (55) and his sister Richa Biyani (25)
  7. Satish Katakbar (34) from Chhatisgarh.

Those injured have been identified as Shiril Obroy (39) from West Delhi, Naveen Bhardwaj (37) from Kaharar in Mohali and Ranjeet Singh (45) from Batseri in Sangla.

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