At least 19 persons died and five are missing after flash floods and landslides in Himachal Pradesh, PTI reported.

Thirteen persons died in the Mandi district alone, Deputy Commissioner Arindam Chaudhary said.

In the district’s Kashan village, the bodies of eight members of a family were retrieved from the debris of their home. Their bodies were found after a four-hour search operation by the National Disaster Response Force.

Three persons died in the Chamba district’s Banet village after a house collapsed in a landslide, the district emergency operation centre said.

Meanwhile, authorities in the Hamirpur district safely evacuated 22 persons stranded following a flash flood, unidentified officials told PTI.

The landslides and floods have caused the maximum amount of damage in the Mandi, Kangra and Chamba districts, State Disaster Management Department Director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta said. He added that traffic has been blocked at 743 roads across Himachal Pradesh, including Manali-Chandigarh national highway at Mandi and the Shimla-Chandigath highway at Shoghi.

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur said that he was extremely pained to hear about the deaths due to heavy rains. He added that he has directed all district administrations to carry out rescue and relief operations.

“The affected families will certainly be given all possible assistance,” he said. “I again humbly urge citizens not to go near landslide-prone areas or near rivers and canals, and to avoid unnecessary travel.”

All schools and anganwadi centres were closed in the Kullu district, ANI reported. District Deputy Commissioner Arindam Chaudhary said that the administration took the decision in view of the incessant downpour and a forecast of heavy rains for the next 24 hours.

The Chakki bridge in the Kangra district collapsed on Saturday due to the heavy rains. Visuals by The Indian Express showed a part of the bridge collapsing and falling into the river below.

4 dead in Uttarakhand cloudbursts

A series of cloudbursts in Uttarakhand left four persons dead, PTI reported on Saturday. Ten persons are reported to be missing.

Two persons were found dead in the Gwad village of Tehri district after heavy rains damaged two homes there, District Magistrate Saurabh Gaharwar said. An elderly woman suffocated to death after she was trapped underneath the rubble of a building, he added.

A 70-year-old woman named Darshani Devi was found dead in the Binak village of the Pauri district.

In Dehradun district, a cloudburst led to mud entering homes in over a dozen villages. Officials from the State Disaster Response Force shifted the affected persons to safe locations.

The villages in Dehradun district affected by the cloudburst were Maldevta, Bhutsi, Tauliyakatal, Thatyud, Lavarkha, Ringalgadh, Dhuttu, Ragad Gaon and Sarkhet, unidentified officials told PTI.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami visited the affected areas on Saturday. He directed officials to make alternative arrangements to resume traffic, ensure relief to those affected by heavy rains and to make estimates of the damage caused by the downpour.

The chief minister added that the Army’s assistance may also be taken if required.