Himachal rain: Migrant couple found dead in Shimla, IMD issues flash flood warning
With 200 more roads blocked, a total of 530 roads in Himachal Pradesh, including the highway connecting Shimla and Chandigarh shut at Chaki Mor near Parwanoo due to landslides
A migrant couple was found dead in Shimla on Wednesday as heavy overnight rain triggered landslides in Himachal Pradesh, blocking more than 200 roads, including the Shimla-Chandigarh highway, and damaging some houses in Solan district, officials said on Wednesday.
The couple, identified as Jhalu Oraon of Jharkhand and his wife Rajkumari Devi, were found dead in their shanty at Shol village in Baldeyan area of Shimla district.
The IMD has issued an orange alert for heavy rain across the state and flash flood warning in nine districts of Shimla, Sirmaur, Kangra, Chamba, Mandi, Hamirpur, Solan, Bilaspur and Kullu.
Bilaspur received 181mm of rainfall since Tuesday evening followed by Berthin 160 mm, Shimla 132 mm, Mandi 118 mm, Sundernagar 105 mm, Palampur 91 mm, Solan 77 mm. Heavy rains are still continuing in several districts.
All schools and colleges have been closed for two days beginning Wednesday in Shimla, Mandi and Solan districts.
With 200 more roads blocked, a total of 530 roads in the state are now shut. The Shimla-Kalka national highway 5 connecting Shimla and Chandigarh was again blocked near Chaki Mor near Parwanoo due to a fresh landslide. NH 21 (Mandi-Kullu road) was blocked near Pandoh and traffic has been diverted, while NH 154 (Mandi-Pathankot) was also blocked, according to the State Emergency Operation Centre.
State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) director DC Rana said 213 roads were blocked in Mandi district, 58 in Shimla and 50 in Bilaspur.
Houses damaged in Solan, Sabathu
Some houses have been damaged at Shakal village on the outskirts of Solan city as gushing waters entered houses. A few houses and vehicles were damaged in Sabathu following a landslide, Solan deputy commissioner Manmohan Sharma said.
As a safety measure, three houses were vacated in Panthaghati and Sanjauli areas of Shimla, while trees unable to withstand the onslaught of rain and wind, toppled onto streets in some parts of the city, deputy commissioner Aditya Negi said.
With electricity lines being severed, parts of Shimla were without power.
Traffic, power supply disrupted
Several lateral roads in the town were also closed, including the critical Tuttikandi-Dhalli bypass, due to landslides. The route near Kanlog was also obstructed by debris, while the stretch from Bemloe to Talland was closed due to a landslip near Himland. The Boileuganj to Summer Road stretch was blocked by uprooted trees.
Traffic on the Mehli Junja road was suspended, A Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus, parked near the Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT), was buried under debris.
The area around Laxmi Narayan Mandir in Kasumpti, including the local bazaar, had to be evacuated as the basement of a structure slid away.
Rural areas of Jubbal and Kotkhai bore the brunt of heavy rain. Two houses near Nihari were vacated due to a mudslide in a nullah. At Murraray, four vehicles were damaged due to a flash flood.
Wet spell till August 28
The weather office has issued an orange alert of “heavy to very heavy rains” on Wednesday and Thursday, and a yellow warning of heavy rain on August 25 and 26. It has forecast a wet spell in the state till August 28.
The seasonal rainfall was 752.1 mm against a normal rainfall of 550.4 mm, an excess of 36% from June 24 till August 22. Earlier this month, about 80 people died in rain-related incidents, including landslides in Shimla.
A total of 227 people have died in rain-related incidents in the state, while 38 are still missing since the onset of monsoon on June 24. Over 12,000 houses have been completely or partially damaged, according to the state emergency operation centre.
Chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has claimed that the state has suffered losses of ₹10,000 crore in the heavy rains.