Heavy rain in parts of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, and Haryana have triggered landslides blocking highways and roads, flash foods and have damaged crops. At least 25 people have died in rain-related incidents in these states over the past two days, according to the Hindustan Times.
In Delhi, the Yamuna River was flowing above the danger level after water was released from Haryana’s Hathnikund barrage due to heavy rains and flash floods in the state, IANS reported. “The water level of Yamuna at Delhi Railway Bridge at 11 am was 205.12 metres,” an unidentified Flood and Control Department official said. The danger level mark of the river is 204.83m.
Over 1,000 people, including tourists and students, have been stranded in the upper regions of Manali and Keylong after a fresh spell of snow over the past 24 hours in Himachal Pradesh, The New Indian Express reported. At least eight people were washed away in flash floods that were triggered by heavy rain in several districts of the state.
Heavy rain and cloudbursts have triggered flash floods and landslides in several districts of the state while snowfall has cut off Lahaul and Spiti. A high alert has been sounded in the worst-hit Kullu district.
Most people are stranded between Serchu and the 16,500-feet-high Bara La Cha pass, between Zing Zing Bar and Deepak Tal on the Keylong-Serchu-Leh highway, and between Grampu and Batal on the Kaza-Grampu-Manali road. At many points, at least three feet of snow has been recorded.
President of Lahaul Spiti Hoteliers Association Tashi Haryapa told The Tribune that at least 500 tourists, including foreigners, have abandoned their vehicles on the highway at several places due to the snow and have taken shelter in camps and tents at Zing Zing Bar and Serchu on the Leh-Manali highway.
Haryapa said the tourists are safe but the camp owners may run out of food as they were set to shut down the camps by this week for winter.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the stranded people will be rescued soon and both the defence minister and the home minister had assured him help, reported the Hindustan Times. “We have requested for two choppers for rescue operations,” he said.
Over 800 students and their teachers, who were in Chamba district to participate in a sports competition, are stuck in the remote Holi area of tribal Bharmour sub-division due to landslides. Additional District Magistrate of Bharmour Prithi Pal Singh confirmed the students are safe. “They are lodged at the government School [in] Holi,” Singh told the Hindustan Times. “The administration is making every effort to restore the road which has been blocked at three [or] four locations.”
Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus Khan said over 120 people are stranded in Khoksar of Lahaul Spiti district, according to the Hindustan Times. “All of them are safe in local hotels and dhabas in Khoksar, they will be evacuated on Tuesday morning”, he said.
Chief Minister Thakur said 50 trekkers, including around 35 students of IIT Roorkee, who were earlier reported missing are safe in Sissu area of Lahul-Spiti district, reported ANI. He also held a review meeting with local administration in Bhuntar later in the day, reported the Hindustan Times.
The Indian Air Force rescued two German nationals from Pingdom La in Lahaul-Spiti district where they were stuck in a blizzard for two days, ANI reported.
Heavy landslides have hit vehicular movement on the Chandigarh-Manali highway beyond Mandi town and on the Pathankot-Chamba highway.
The India Meteorological Department said that it expects the rainfall to decrease significantly from Tuesday evening. But it warned people to remain cautious in the hilly terrain of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
There is also no power in Lahaul valley as electricity lines have snapped due to the snow, according to The New Indian Express. Apple, pea and potato crops in the valley have been badly damaged by the untimely spell of snow. They were to be harvested in the last week of September.
Rohtang Pass and Rohtang Tunnel recorded over one foot of snow. Road links to Kinnaur district and towns in Shimla district such as Narkanda, Jubbal, Kharapathar, Rohru and Chopal have been cut-off due to landslips. Three bridges were washed away in Kullu and Manali towns.
The Rishikesh-Kedarnath National Highway-107 and other roads leading to Badrinath and Kedarnath temples were blocked after landslides, reported Hindustan Times.
The Pong Dam reservoir in Kangra district has crossed the danger mark and flood gates of the reservoir may be opened any time, said Kangra Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Kumar. Authorities have asked residents living downstream to remain alert about a flood situation.
Jammu and Kashmir
At least five members of a family died after their house collapsed in a landslip in Doda district’s Gandoh in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, reported ANI. Heavy rain has triggered landslides in part of the state.
At least two people were killed in flash floods and landslides in the mountainous belts of Kathua district in Jammu region on Monday, reported Greater Kashmir. Senior Superintendent of Police Kathua Shridhar Patil said at least 29 people, including 10 children, were rescued from various flood-hit areas of Kathua.
A foreign couple, who were trapped in snow in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil district, was rescued on Tuesday, reported IANS.
Punjab and Haryana
The Punjab government on Monday issued a red alert as moderate and heavy rainfall continued to lash the state and the Union Territory of Chandigarh for the third straight day.
Six people died in rain-related incidents – three in Kapurthala, two in Amritsar and an 8-month-old girl in Jalandhar, reported Hindustan Times.
The flood gates of the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh were opened on Monday as the water crossed the danger mark of 1,163 feet, reported News18. The flood gates of the lake were last opened in 2008.
In Haryana, at least four people died in rain-related accidents on Monday. Three people were killed in roof-collapse incidents in Karnal, Kurukshetra and Ambala districts, while a woman was killed and seven others were injured when a tree fell on a vehicle they were travelling in on the Ambala-Naraingarh Road.
The rain caused extensive damage to standing and harvested paddy and other crops in Karnal district, reported ANI. The paddy crop, which is either ready for harvest or has been harvested already, is submerged in water.