Tragedy Strikes Himachal Pradesh: 16 Lives Lost in Monsoon-Related Incidents

New Delhi: Over the course of 24 hours, tragic incidents linked to heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh have claimed the lives of 16 individuals, according to the state’s Chief Minister. In the Solan district, a cloudburst during the night led to the loss of seven lives, while a devastating landslide at a Shiv Temple in the Summer Hill region of Shimla city resulted in nine fatalities.

Tragedy Strikes Himachal Pradesh

A grim situation unfolded in Shimla city, where reports suggest that between 15 to 20 people might be trapped under the debris following two landslides, as revealed by Deputy Commissioner Aditya Negi to news agency PTI.

Following the cloudburst in the Mamligh village of Kandaghat subdivision in Solan, six people were successfully rescued. The torrential rain led to the washing away of two houses and one cowshed, as reported by news agency ANI. Among the deceased in Solan, their names were identified as Harnam (38), Kamal Kishore (35), Hemlata (34), Rahul (14), Neha (12), Golu (8), and Raksha (12), as confirmed by Superintendent of Police, Solan, Gaurav Singh.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu expressed his condolences through a tweet, emphasizing his directive to authorities to extend every possible assistance and support to the affected families.

“Devastated to hear about the loss of 7 precious lives in the tragic cloudburst incident at Village Jadon, Dhawla Sub-Tehsil in Solan District. My heartfelt condolences go out to the grieving families. We share in your pain and sorrow during this difficult time,” conveyed the Chief Minister’s Office on Twitter. Barely 1.5 hours later, the Chief Minister shared the distressing news of nine bodies being pulled out of the debris at the Shimla temple.

“Distressing news has emerged from Shimla, where the ‘Shiv Mandir’ at Summer Hill collapsed as a result of the heavy rainfall. As of now, nine bodies have been retrieved. The local administration is diligently working to clear the debris in order to rescue individuals who may still be trapped. Om Shanti,” he tweeted.

As per the state’s emergency operation center, a staggering 752 roads have been rendered inaccessible due to the calamity.

Considering the safety of students amid the heavy rains, all educational institutes in the hill state will remain closed today, as confirmed by the Chief Minister on Sunday. He also communicated with all District Collectors in the state to assess the extent of damage and devastation.

The Chief Minister received information about road closures and the destruction caused by landslides. He has directed the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, and all District Collectors to closely monitor the situation amidst the heavy rains. Vigilance and seamless arrangements for roads, electricity, and water maintenance have been stressed by the Chief Minister.

The Department of Education for the state has issued a notification, canceling all ongoing Post Graduate class examinations, including B.Ed exams scheduled for August 14.

The recurrence of heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh and neighboring Uttarakhand has been attributed to a fresh spell of Western Disturbance, as communicated by the Indian Meteorological Department.

“The location of the Monsoon trough lies along the foothills of the Himalayas, and hence the South-westerly Arabian Sea monsoonal winds are hitting the Himalayan foothills,” stated the weather department.

As per an IMD statement on Sunday, the state can expect moderate to heavy rainfall in various places, with extremely heavy rainfall anticipated in isolated areas of districts like Chamba, Kangra, Hamirpur, Mandi, Bilaspur, Solan, Shimla, Kullu, and Sirmaur.

The forecast also points to the likelihood of very heavy rainfall in many places, and extremely heavy rainfall in isolated areas near the Beas, Ranjit Sagar, and Pong dam catchment area.

Himachal Pradesh has been among the hardest-hit states in the country due to floods and landslides, with an alarming loss of ₹ 7020.28 crore reported by officials on Sunday due to the monsoon’s devastating impact.

The monsoon season commenced in Himachal Pradesh on June 24. Officials stated that the death toll reached 257, encompassing various causes.

“Of the 257, 66 people lost their lives due to landslides and flash floods. 191 people lost their lives due to road accidents or other reasons. While 32 people are missing and 290 people have been injured,” officials revealed.

The state has witnessed damage to 1,376 houses, with an additional 7,935 houses partially damaged in the wake of the monsoon havoc.

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