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19 Dead, Many Missing as Rains, Flash Floods Lash Himachal Pradesh

Several people have been killed across the three states due to heavy rains, including two minors in J&K's Udhampur.

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A total of 19 people have been killed, nine injured and six are feared dead in separate incidents of flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rainfall in Himachal Pradesh since Friday, 19 August.

In the state's Chamba district, three people are feared dead after their house collapsed due to a landslide triggered by the rains. The Chamba district emergency operation centre (DEOC) said that the landslide had occurred in the Banet village around 4:30 am on Saturday.

Several vehicles were also damaged and villagers were stuck after water flowed into their houses.

Further, all 22 people trapped have been rescued after a flash flood occurred at the Kheri Sujanpur village in the state's Hapirpur district.

Seven people belonging to the same family are said to be buried in the Jadon village in the Mandi district.

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7 Families Forced To Abandon Houses, 8 People Feared Buried in HP

Several families were forced to abandon their houses located between Baghi to Old Katola areas and have taken shelter at safe places, Himachal Pradesh's disaster management department officials told PTI.

Besides, eight members of another family are also feared buried under the debris of their house following a landslide at Kashan village in Gohar development block, the department added.

However, the bodies have not been retrieved yet, it said.

Meanwhile, the Chakki railway bridge in the state's Kangra district collapsed amid heavy flooding. The bridge had been declared unsafe by railway authorities. Due to the collapse, train services between Pathankot and Jogindernagar have been suspended.

The state's disaster management department has also issued a warning of landslides, saying that heavy rains are predicted across Himachal till 25 August.

Several schools have also been closed due to the rains. In Himachal Pradesh's Mandi, all private and government institutions were shut along with anganwadis, District Deputy Commissioner Arindam Chaudhary said in an order.

Shimla Police said that there was a landslide at Sonu Bangla, between Shoghi and Tara Devi, on Saturday which has blocked the National Highway 5 between Shimla and Kalka, reported ANI.

"Stones are still falling actively. Traffic has been diverted via the Shoghi Mehli bypass," said the Shimla Police.

SDRF, NDRF Deployed For Rescue Ops

Kumari Ilma Afroz, SP, State Disaster Response Force, said that the SDRF and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed to rescue and evacuate 15 people who went missing due to heavy rains in the past 24 hours, reported ANI.

She said that five bodies have been recovered so far.

Afroz said, "Both SDRF & NDRF are trying their best to rescue people who went missing, buried in debris. During the past 24 hours Mandi, Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Hamirpur & Shimla districts have been affected badly."

"I am deeply saddened to hear about the loss of life and property due to heavy rains across the state. We have ordered relief and rescue operations to all the district administrations of the state. Relief and rescue operations are being carried out on a war footing by the local administrations in the respective areas," Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur said in a tweet.
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Two Infants Killed in J&K's Udhampur

On the other hand, two minors were killed after their mud house collapsed amid heavy rains in Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur district.

The incident took place in Samole village in the wee hours of Saturday. The bodies of the minors, aged between two months and one-and-a-half years, were recovered, as per officials.

Several other houses in the village were also damaged.

Meanwhile, the pilgrimage to J&K's Vaishno Devi temple resumed on Saturday after being temporarily halted on Friday amid heavy rainfall, which had triggered flash floods in the Katra town near the shrine.

However, the Himkoti (battery car) track to the shrine is still shut due to an ongoing clearance operation in the area. Helicopter services also remain suspended amid the weather situation.

4 Killed in Flash Floods in Uttarakhand

A series of cloudbursts hit different parts of Uttarakhand early on Saturday at around 2:45 am, killing four people while 10 went missing as rivers breached their banks and washed away bridges, according to PTI.

Torrential rains damaged two houses in Gwad village in Tehri district trapping seven people under the debris. Tehri District Magistrate Saurabh Gaharwar said that two bodies have been recovered from under the rubble.

A cloudburst occurred at around 2:15 am on Saturday in Sarkhet village in Raipur area.

State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) officials were rushed to the spot in Sarkhet village, and rescued all the people who were stuck.

The villages affected by the cloudburst include Maldevta, Bhutsi, Tauliyakatal, Thatyud, Lavarkha, Ringalgadh, Dhuttu, Ragad Gaon and Sarkhet, PTI reported.

  • Dehradun: A school buried under debris, after a series of cloudbursts hit different parts of Uttarakhand during the monsoon season, at Raipur area in Dehradun, on Saturday, 20 August.

    (Photo: PTI)

Also, Dehradun's Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple was impacted by heavy as water flowed into the temple with immense force. There was also a bridge over the river where the temple is located which was completely destroyed, one of the temple's priests, named Digambar Bharat Giri, said.

However, officials said that there has been no loss of life or property.

Meanwhile, shopkeepers and tourists were evacuated from the Kempty falls, located in Mussoorie, as a precaution. The Uttarakhand government also urged tourists not to venture out towards the waterfall.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, meanwhile, said, "Our disaster management team, SDRF teams and other administration officials have reached the areas where heavy rains wreaked havoc overnight. I am also trying to reach the spot to inspect the rescue operations."

He also said that the administration was on "full alert."

(With inputs from PTI.)

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