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Nature’s wrath in Indian valleys: Death toll inches to 58; Rescue Ops continues

Himachal Pradesh/ Uttrakhand: Nature wreaks havoc in Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand claiming nearly 58 lives, several people stranded due to landslides, cloudbursts and flash floods. The incessant rainfall triggered landslides blocking key roads, damaging thousands of houses and buried devotees in the rubble of the temple. The downpours have unleashed havoc in Uttarakhand, resulting in […]

Edited By : Saurav Gupta | Updated: Aug 16, 2023 00:22 IST
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Himachal Pradesh/ Uttrakhand
Himachal Pradesh/ Uttrakhand

Himachal Pradesh/ Uttrakhand: Nature wreaks havoc in Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand claiming nearly 58 lives, several people stranded due to landslides, cloudbursts and flash floods. The incessant rainfall triggered landslides blocking key roads, damaging thousands of houses and buried devotees in the rubble of the temple. The downpours have unleashed havoc in Uttarakhand, resulting in building collapses, and roads transforming into rushing rivers.

On August 14, Shimla’s Summer Hill area witnessed tragic landslide causing damage to the Kalka-Shimla bound railway track. A massive landslide struck Shimla, causing severe damage to a railway track that has stood for over 120 years. The incident leaved a trail of destruction in its wake. However, the rescue teams rushed to the spot and the operation to clear and repair the track is under way.

“Tragedy has struck, with around 55 lives lost in the state so far. Regrettably, the death toll could rise further. Our efforts for restoration are in full swing, akin to a war-like footing. Our priority lies in the rescue of those trapped. The Chandigarh-Shimla 4-lane highway, alongside other crucial roads, has been reopened for travel. While major routes are accessible, it will take time for the state’s roads to be fully operational once again,” Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu informed.

Read more: Watch | Parts of college washes away in Uttarakhand; heavy rain to continue

According to Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, “The death toll might go up. Restoration work being done on a war footing.”

Shiv Temple Collapsed in Shimla

Two additional bodies were discovered from the wreckage of a collapsed Shiv temple in Shimla on Tuesday, contributing to a cumulative count of 16 bodies retrieved from the two landslide sites at Summerhill and Fagli, according to official reports.

Authorities have indicated that approximately 10 individuals remain potentially trapped beneath the rubble in the areas of Summerhill and Fagli in Shimla. The collaborative rescue efforts, involving the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army, police, and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), resumed their operations at the Summerhill site as early as 6 am, as confirmed by Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, Aditya Negi, in correspondence with PTI.

The tragic incident unfolded at approximately 7:15 am when a crowded shrine was full of devotees participating in prayers on a significant day of the holy month of Sawan. The catastrophe struck, resulting in the collapse of the temple structure.

Cloudburst in Jadon Village

The death toll in the cloudburst at Jadon village in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan has risen to seven with the recovery of two more bodies on Monday morning, officials said.

The incident of cloudburst was reported at Jadon village of Kandaghat subdivision in Solan district of the state, Siddhartha Acharya, Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Kandaghat said.

Previously, the unfortunate incident resulted in the loss of five lives, while three individuals were reported missing. Alongside the human toll, two houses and one cowshed were also swept away by the force of the incident.

PM Modi Expresses Concern

Speaking from the Red Fort’s historic ramparts on the 77th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his distress regarding the devastating impact of heavy rainfall in various states. PM Modi further assured the nation that both the Central and state governments are committed to aiding affected families during these times of crisis, facilitating their recovery and the chance to rebuild their lives.

Weather Department Issues Red Alert

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a forecast predicting heavy to very heavy rainfall within the next 24 hours across multiple regions of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In response to this weather prediction, the Met department has issued a red alert for both these hilly states, which is anticipated to gradually shift to an orange alert as conditions evolve.

First published on: Aug 15, 2023 10:45 PM IST

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