As many as 774 people have died in incidents related to floods and rains in seven states during the monsoon season so far, informed the Home Ministry.
According to the Home Ministry’s National Emergency Response Centre (NERC), 187 people have lost their lives in Kerala, 171 in Uttar Pradesh, 170 in West Bengal and 139 in Maharashtra due to the floods and rains.
As many as 52 people lost their lives in Gujarat, 45 in Assam and eight in Nagaland.
And now Floods triggered by heavy rain and cloudbursts have wreaked havoc in several districts of Himachal Pradesh while snowfall has cut off Lahaul and Spiti from the rest of the country.
Hundreds of roads including several national highways have been blocked due to landslides across the state. The tourist town of Manali has been cut off from district headquarters Kullu and rest of the state after an overflowing Beas river submerged roads on either side of the river after torrential rain during the last 24 hours.
The Army has been called to rescue two persons stranded due to flash floods in Kangra district, an official said Monday.
“Two persons are stuck there. Fire brigade and rescue teams are at the spot. They are waiting for the water level to recede. The Kangra district administration made a requisition to the Army Monday morning to rescue them,” the official said.
Schools in at least nine of 12 districts of Himachal Pradesh were closed on Monday due to heavy rains.
While only government and private schools were closed in Shimla and Sirmaur districts, the deputy commissioners of the seven districts of Kangra, Kullu, Chamba, Mandi, Kinnaur, Solan and Hamirpur ordered closure of all government and private educational institutions, including schools, colleges, ITIs and anganwari kendras on Monday.
Dalhousie town recorded highest 170 millimeter rainfall in the state followed by Manali 121 mm, Kangra 120 mm, Palampur 108 mm, and Dharamshala and Una with 62mm each in the last 24 hours. The Met office has predicted more rain and snow for next 24 hours.
A truck and a bus were washed away on Sunday even when the water level in the Beas river rose sharply near Aut on the Manali-Chandigarh highway.
The Chandigarh-Manali national highway has also been blocked at Dwada and Aut after the water spilled into the road.
Late Sunday, district authorities in Kullu rescued 22 people who were stuck at Raisan near Manali while 26 people were rescued from Dobhi.
The Patlikuhal Bazar was evacuated after the flood water entered the market area. Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus Khan said that efforts were on to rehabilitate people who have been rescued from various parts of the district. “We have also sought Indian Air Force’s (IAF) help in rescue operation,” said Khan.
He said that Akhara Bazar, Nature Park, Ramshila, Baveli, Raisan, Dobhi Vihal, Patlikuhal, bazars have been completely submerged by the overflowing Beas.
In tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti which has been snowed out, nine researchers, who had gone to 5,480-metre high Gangstang glacier have reportedly gone missing. They belonged to West Bengal and efforts are on to trace them.
Large cultivated potato crop was also damaged in the district.
Authorities opened the gates of four dams including Larji, Pandoh and Sanan in Mandi and Chamera in Chamba which worsened the situation downstream.
Flooded rivers have caused widespread damage in in Kangra and Chamba districts as well. At least half a dozen villages have been evacuated near Chamba town while students of Javahar Navodya Vidyalya (JNV) at Sarol have also been shifted to other places.