Heavy rain in Himachal claims two lives, eight rescued

Shimla: Incessant rain in Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday claimed the lives of two members of a family while at least eight people were rescued from upper Manali following a flash flood, officials said. Air connectivity between New Delhi and Kullu was affected due to the rainfall. Two women were buried alive when boulders fell on their house in Sirmaur district in the wee hours, police said. The house in Sangrah area collapsed due to landslides in the area triggered by heavy rainfall, a police official told IANS.  Eight labourers were caught in a flash flood in Kothi, about 20 km from Manali in Kullu district. "Eight workers of a hydropower company, who were staying in temporary hutments along a seasonal rivulet, were rescued," Sub-divisional Magistrate Jyoti Rana told IANS over phone. She said the labourers were staying close to the rivulet despite warnings. Meanwhile, the state experienced moderate to heavy rain with Gaggal in Kangra district recording the highest rainfall in the state at 166 mm. More rain is in store till Thursday and thereafter the monsoon will remain dominant till July 31, the Met office here said. "Precipitation occurred at most places in the state with very heavy rainfall in Shimla, Sirmaur and Kangra districts in the past 24 hours," Meteorological Director Manmohan Singh told IANS. There were reports of link roads closure in the interiors of Shimla, Sirmaur, Mandi, Kangra and Kullu districts, hampering movement of traffic. The road connectivity between Rajgarh in Sirmaur district and Solan town has been disrupted since Tuesday night following a landslide near Neri Ratoli. A government spokesperson said the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries are again in spate in Kinnaur, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts. According to the Met office, state capital Shimla recorded 65 mm of rain. Palampur, Dharamsala and Nahan towns recorded 155 mm, 123 mm and 15.2 mm rain, respectively.