The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has also raised concerns about a moderate to high flash flood threat in certain watersheds and neighborhoods of Haryana, Chandigarh, and Delhi over the next six hours.
In a tragic turn of events, heavy rainfall has wreaked havoc in Himachal Pradesh, leading to landslides, destruction of houses, and the loss of at least five lives. The incessant downpour triggered numerous landslides and flash floods, causing significant damage to both private and government property across the state.
The devastating impact of the heavy rain was felt in various districts of Himachal Pradesh. In the Kotgarh area of Shimla district, a landslide caused the collapse of a house, resulting in the loss of three lives from the same family. Another fatality occurred near Kullu town, where a makeshift house was damaged by a landslide, claiming the life of a woman.
The Katiyan tehsil of Chamba also witnessed tragedy, as a person was buried alive under debris following a landslide on Saturday night. Over the past 36 hours, the state emergency operation center has reported a total of thirteen landslides and nine flash floods.
Mandi, Kullu, and Lahaul and Spiti districts were particularly hard-hit by the heavy rainfall. Flash floods in Bahang near Manali swept away several shops, while an under-construction house in Kullu district was submerged in the flooded Beas river near Patlikuhal. In a miraculous rescue effort, one woman was saved from the debris in Kullu.
To mitigate the situation, the authorities of the Pandoh dam opened the floodgates to release excess water caused by the heavy overnight rainfall. Consequently, the water level of the Beas river surged to dangerous levels, surpassing the alarm mark. Pandoh bazaar was submerged in water, but six members of a family were successfully rescued by the Mandi district administration. The Banjar vegetable market also fell victim to the heavy rain, and a car was washed away in the Beas river from the Akhara bazaar parking area.
The Chandigarh-Manali highway has become impassable due to a major landslide occurring at the 6-mile stretch between Mandi and Pandoh. This has resulted in a complete standstill of traffic on this crucial route. In Kullu district, the Aut-Luhri highway remains blocked near Banjar due to a landslide. Moreover, the Gramphu-Kaza highway in Lahaul and Spiti is still inaccessible to traffic.
Overall, 736 roads, including three national highways, have been closed off for traffic throughout the state. The heavy rain has also affected 1,743 distribution transformers and disrupted 138 water schemes within the past 24 hours.
Reports have emerged of shops being swept away in Manali, vehicles being washed away in flash floods at Nullah in Kullu, Kinnaur, and Chamba, and agricultural land being damaged. Additionally, several roads have been closed off in Shimla districts. The overflowing of major rivers like Ravi, Beas, Satluj, and Chenab has prompted authorities to advise tourists and commuters against traveling during heavy rain and to avoid venturing near river bodies.
The Kotgarh village in Shimla district witnessed the tragic loss of life due to landslides. A family of three, including Anil, his wife Kiran, and their son Swapnil, perished after their house collapsed on Sunday morning. The heavy rainfall has severely disrupted vehicular movement in various parts of Shimla district. Fallen trees and debris have caused traffic congestion near Tutikandi bypass, while the Anadale road and Panthaghati-Kasumpti road have been closed due to debris.
The authorities have issued a red alert for the next three hours, warning of extremely heavy rainfall in certain places in Shimla, Solan, and Sirmaur districts. Kangra district has also suffered extensive damage to public and private property due to the heavy rain. Landslides have blocked several roads, including the Dharamsala-Mcleodganj and Naddi-Stobary routes.
In Dharamsala, a falling tree damaged a private car, adding to the traffic congestion near the education board. Reports of property damage caused by fallen trees have also emerged from other parts of the district. While most rivers in the region are overflowing, no property damage has been reported thus far.
The Meteorological Office has issued warnings of isolated extremely heavy rain in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand throughout Sunday. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is predicted in isolated areas of Jammu and Kashmir until Monday, as well as in eastern Rajasthan, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Punjab until Sunday.
The authorities are working diligently to address the situation and provide necessary assistance to affected individuals. Residents are advised to exercise caution, follow safety guidelines, and stay updated with weather warnings to ensure their well-being during this challenging time.