One dead, 10 missing in Himachal flashfloods, NDRF deployed

One dead, 10 missing in Himachal flashfloods, NDRF deployed

Shimla, July 12, 2021

The central government on Monday deployed the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh led to flashfloods in Kangra district, where 10 locals were reported missing and one has died.

In upper Dharamsala, at least 10 parked cars, largely of tourists, were washed away and houses were partially damaged in Bhagsunag.

Reviewing the ground situation in the state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on the phone, assuring him that an NDRF team will be deployed to handle any exigency.

He said the Centre will provide all assistance needed to tide over the crisis.

Dharamsala, nearly 250 kms from the state capital Shimla, recorded precipitation of 184 mm, the highest ever during this monsoon. The damage to property was reported in villages located in the vicinity of McLeodganj, the political, cultural and spiritual hub of the Tibetan diaspora.

Kangra Senior Superintendent of Police Vimukt Ranjan told the media that one body was recovered from the debris in Boh village in Shahpur sub-division of the district where 10 villagers reportedly went missing in flashfloods.

"We don't have exact information on casualties. The extent of casualty and damage to the property will be known after the rescue workers reach the site," he said.

Deputy Commissioner Nipun Jindal said all the access to the village has been snapped due to landslides.

Elsewhere in Kangra, three houses and five shops located along a seasonal rivulet in the Gaggal area were damaged by gushing water. The damage to property was largely due to encroachments on rivulets, officials told IANS.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director Manmohan Singh told IANS that heavy to extremely heavy rainfall was recorded at many places in Kangra district. The rainfall was widespread across the state.

Palampur in Kangra district recorded 155 mm rain, the highest in the state, while it was 48 mm in Dalhousie, 10 mm in Shimla and 55 mm in tourist resort Manali.

The Chief Minister expressed grief over the loss of life and property due to heavy rain.

He directed the district authorities to ensure speedy relief and rescue operations in the affected areas. He urged local people and tourists to refrain from going near the river banks to avoid any untoward incident.

The Pathankot-Mandi highway has been blocked for traffic due to landslide at several places and minor damage to a bridge near Manali.

The weather bureau has forecast heavy rain at isolated places in the state till Wednesday.

The southwest monsoon arrived in Himachal Pradesh on June 13 in its earliest onset in the past 21 years. Its normal arrival in the state is June 26.

IANS

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