HomeDisastersDevastating Landslides and Rains Ravage Himachal Pradesh: Over 200 Roads Blocked and...

Devastating Landslides and Rains Ravage Himachal Pradesh: Over 200 Roads Blocked and Counting

The landscapes of Himachal Pradesh have been plunged into chaos as heavy overnight rains triggered a series of landslides, wreaking havoc across the state. Officials reported that these natural disasters have led to the blockage of over 200 additional roads, including the vital Shimla-Chandigarh highway. Distressing accounts of damaged homes in the Solan district have emerged, underscoring the severity of the situation. Despite the widespread destruction, a silver lining remains: no loss of life has been reported thus far.

Total count of blocked roads in the state has surged to a staggering 530, leaving communities grappling with isolation and uncertainty. Prominent routes such as the Shimla-Kalka National Highway 5, a crucial lifeline connecting Shimla and Chandigarh, have once again succumbed to nature’s fury. The State Emergency Operation Centre’s data indicates that Chaki Mor, NH 21 (Mandi-Kullu road), and NH 154 (Mandi-Pathankot) road have all fallen victim to the elements.

The tranquil village of Shakal, nestled on the outskirts of Solan city, found itself in the path of gushing waters, resulting in the unfortunate damage of several houses. Equally distressing is the account of Sabathu area, where landslides have triggered havoc, causing damage to houses and vehicles. Manmohan Sharma, the Deputy Commissioner of Solan.

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The situation’s gravity has prompted proactive measures, including the evacuation of three houses in Panthaghati and Sanjauli areas of Shimla city. Reports of landslides and uprooted trees in various parts of the city have cast a shadow of uncertainty over residents. Aditya Negi, Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, provided insight into these challenges.

As relentless rains continue to lash multiple regions of the state, meteorological data reveals staggering precipitation figures: Bilaspur received 181 mm of rainfall, followed by Berthin with 160 mm, Shimla with 132 mm, and Mandi with 118 mm. Other areas like Sundernagar, Palampur, and Solan were not spared either, experiencing significant rainfall. The meteorological office’s red alert, issued earlier, foresaw heavy to very heavy rainfall, with isolated instances of “extremely heavy” showers across eight districts.

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In response to these dire warnings, authorities in Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, and Una districts took swift action, shuttering schools and colleges for two days to safeguard lives. Moreover, the MeT’s advisory raised concerns about moderate to high flash flood risks in various districts, including Shimla, Sirmaur, Kangra, Chamba, Mandi, Hamirpur, Solan, Bilaspur, and Kullu.

The weather office’s continued vigilance is evident as it issued an orange alert, predicting “heavy to very heavy rains” on consecutive days and a yellow warning of heavy rainfall for subsequent dates. This inclement weather pattern is projected to persist until August 28, exacerbating the already dire situation. The cumulative seasonal rainfall, which has already surpassed the normal levels, has placed immense strain on the state’s infrastructure and resources.

Tragedy has struck Himachal Pradesh earlier this month, with approximately 80 lives lost due to rain-related incidents, including a devastating landslide in Shimla. The toll of such calamities since the onset of monsoon on June 24 paints a grim picture: 227 lives lost, 38 individuals still missing, and over 12,000 houses either partially or completely damaged, as documented by the state’s emergency operation center.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu’s estimation of losses amounting to Rs 10,000 crore underscores the profound impact of these disasters. As Himachal Pradesh rallies to cope with the aftermath, communities are left grappling with the dual challenges of rehabilitation and recovery in the wake of relentless natural forces.

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