Heavy rains wreak havoc in Himachal Pradesh, highways blocked | India News

Heavy rains wreak havoc in Himachal Pradesh, highways blocked | India News


SHIMLA/MANALI: Incessant heavy rainfall since Sunday night wreaked havoc across Himachal Pradesh as national and state highways were blocked due to landslides and flash floods in nullahs damaged houses and swept vehicles away.
Kangra district suffered the worst damage: a nine-year-old girl was missing after being swept away by a gushing nullah at Chahdi village in Nagrota sub-division, and another 12 people were missing in Boh valley, Shahpur sub-division. At Bhagsunag, near Dharamshala, several vehicles were washed away by water that roared out of an overflowing local nullah.
All tourists are accounted for till now and have been advised to stay put wherever they are as heavy rain is expected on Tuesday too.
Landslides caused by heavy rain blocked the Chandigarh-Manali national highway and bypass road. The Manali-Leh highway was also partially blocked due to flash floods at three places. Two houses were partially damaged in Mandi district and one vehicle fell into the Chenab river in Lahaul valley. Electricity supply was also suspended at some places and some link roads were blocked by landslides.
Himachal chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said heavy rainfall had caused extensive damage across the state, with Kangra the worst-hit district. He said so far no loss of life had been reported in the state and NDRF teams had been deployed for relief operations. The CM said all DCs and SPs had been directed to remain on alert.
In Shahpur sub-division, heavy damage to public and private property was caused by floodwater; around six houses were damaged and about a dozen people were missing after floods hit the area. It is feared that the missing people might be buried in debris but there was no official confirmation.
At Bhagsunag, near Dharamshala, people were shocked to see the road turn into a nullah and raging floodwater sweep away many vehicles from the parking lot on Monday morning. At Chaitru, also near Dharamshala, two houses were damaged after a flood in Manjhi khad, and a house was damaged near Shilla chowk.
The Kangra administration had to launch a rescue operation that lasted over two hours to save a woman from Jamanabad area after she was trapped on a tree she had climbed for safety as floods covered her paddy fields.
The Kangra deputy commissioner, Dr Nipun Jindal, said the damage in Dharamshala and its adjoining areas is being reviewed and teams have been constituted for relief and rehabilitation. He said that till Tuesday all tourists visiting Dharamshala have been instructed by the district administration to postpone their travels for the time being. Tourists already in Dharamshala and its surrounding tourist places have also been advised to stay where they are.
Traffic was affected on the Chandigarh-Manali national highway after a massive landslide at 7 Meel, near Mandi. The Mandi-Kullu bypass road via Kataula was also blocked after a landslide near Kannoj village. The national highway (NH-3) had been witnessing landslides and shooting stones since early Monday morning.”Landslides and swollen rivers are posing a threat… Machines have been deployed to clear the debris. People are requested to travel only if necessary. Rivers are in spate and the water level can rise anytime due to flash floods in the upper reaches. So people, especially tourists, are requested not to go close to the rivers and nullahs,” Kullu SP Gurdev Chand Sharma said.
A large number of vehicles had been stuck on the Manali-Leh highway due to flooded nullahs. Floods in Teling nullah, Pagal nullah and Bharatpur nullah have made traffic movement very difficult.
Lahaul-Spiti SP Manav Verma said, “The three nullahs were in spate in the morning. Traffic movement was halted for about 4-5 hours at Teling nullah. The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) later cleared the highway. No vehicle is stuck anywhere now. Debris had also blocked the Udaipur-Pangi highway where the BRO had deployed machines. There is a report of a vehicle plunging into the Chenab river. A police team is at the spot.”
Mandi SDM Rajeev Kumar said five roads were blocked in the district and machines were deployed to restore traffic movement. “Five roads were affected as was the electricity supply in some areas,” he said.





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