More than 50 people have died amid heavy rain in Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said on Monday, 14 August.
"Over 50 people have lost their lives in the state in last 24 hours. Over 20 people are still trapped, the death toll can also increase. Search and rescue operation is underway. We have taken the decision not to organise any cultural program on the occasion of Independence Day." Sukhu told news agency ANI.
A cloudburst in Himachal Pradesh's Solan district on Monday claimed the lives of at least seven people.
Unleashed: The cloudburst led to a landslide-like situation which occurred at around 1:30am on Monday, according to authorities.
Two houses and a cowshed were reportedly swept away by the large amount of debris.
The people sleeping inside these houses have been trapped by the debris.
The toll: All seven of the deceased belong to the same family, authorities said.
Four bodies have been recovered so far.
Six people have been rescued and search operations are currently underway.
Meanwhile, another landslide hit Shimla's Summer Hill on Monday where 20-25 people are reportedly trapped under the debris.
The Shiv Mandir at Summer Hill was swept away by the landslide.
Multiple landslides were also reported along the Mandi-Pandoh route.
What they're saying: "Devastated to hear about the loss of 7 precious lives in the tragic cloudburst incident at Village Jadon, Dhawla Sub-Tehsil in Solan District. My heartfelt condolences go out to the grieving families. We share in your pain and sorrow during this difficult time," Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu tweeted in response to the incident.
"SDRF, NDRF and Army are present on the spot to carry out rescue operations and save lives....I have cancelled my pre-scheduled event in Mandi. August 15 Independence Day programme will go on as usual but our priority is to save lives," CM Sukhu was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Steps taken: The chief minister has directed all educational institutions in the state to be closed for the day in light of the deteriorating weather conditions.
Ongoing exams have also reportedly been cancelled by Himachal Pradesh University.
The Mandi-Pathankot road has been closed for traffic due to debris, as per authorities.
"The SDRF team is deployed in Majhwar from where we had the information on mishappenings. The NDRF team has been deployed in three places since morning," Deputy Commissioner (Mandi) Arindam Chaudhary told ANI.
The state chief secretary, home secretary, district collectors, and other administrative staff have been instructed to continuously monitor the situation in order to ensure supply of electricity, water, etc, is not disrupted.
(With inputs from ANI.)