Heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh has left 12 persons dead and damaged several homes, authorities said on Wednesday, according to PTI.
A total of 242 persons have died in rain-related incidents, including floods and landslides, since the onset of the monsoon this year, The Times of India reported. There has been extensive damage to property as well.
Rain-related incidents have caused widespread loss of life and property in the northern state this year.
Eight multi-storeyed buildings collapsed in the Kullu district due to landslides triggered by heavy rain, The Indian Express reported. Reports have said there are no casualties as the buildings had been marked unsafe and were vacated last week.
The incident occurred around 9.15 am near the Anni sub-division bus stand, witnesses said.
Sub Divisional Magistrate Naresh Verma, who arrived at the spot to take stock of the situation, said that one of the buildings earlier housed a branch of the Himachal Cooperative Bank, while another had a State Bank of India branch.
“All the tenants had vacated the buildings last week itself and even the banks operating in commercial buildings had been shifted out,” he said.
Among the 12 recent fatalities, seven persons died due to landslides in Mandi and Shimla, according to the state emergency operation centre. Three persons died of electrocution, while one fatality each was reported due to drowning and falling from a height.
Two of those who died in the landslides in Mandi were identified as Parma Nand and his grandson Gopi, who both were killed in the village of Seraj. The remaining three deaths due to landslides in Mandi took place in the Sarachi village.
The two persons who died in Shimla were identified as Jhalo and his wife Rajkumari. Both of them were migrants living in a makeshift home in the district’s Baldeyan area, Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi said.
Due to three spells of rains, 709 roads in Himachal Pradesh have been closed. On Wednesday, authorities ordered schools to remain shut for two days in the districts of Shimla, Mandi and Solan.
On Thursday, the Kullu-Mandi highway was blocked after heavy rainfall, ANI reported. Hundreds of vehicles were stuck on the road.
Superintendent of Police Sakshi Verma said that an alternate route through Pandoh has also been damaged. “Hence, the movement of traffic is suspended for now,” she said.
The meteorological office on Wednesday issued a red alert and predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in six districts for the next 24 hours. A red alert indicates that authorities are expected to take action in connection with an extreme weather event.
The red alert has been issued for the districts of Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, Solan and Sirmaur.