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Himachal witnesses highest single-day loss of lives as rain wreaks havoc

The overall toll of rain-related deaths since June 24 in the state reached 283.

CHANDIGARH:  At least 50 people were killed in Himachal Pradesh on Monday — 14 of them buried under rubble in two landslips, including one at a temple — as rains wreaked havoc, triggering landslides, washing away bridges and flattening houses. This is the state’s highest single-day toll in the ongoing Southwest monsoon season.

About 15 more people are feared trapped under the debris of a Shiv temple at Summer Hill in Shimla. It was crowded with devotees offering prayers on an important day of the holy month of Sawan when the landslide occurred. In the second landslide, five bodies were pulled out of the

 rubble in the Fagli area while 17 were rescued.

As many as 19 people died in the Mandi district, 11 in the Solan district, four in the Hamirpur district and one in the Sirmaur district. The UNESCO world heritage Shimla-Kalka railway bridge was badly damaged near Summer Hill in Shimla. A 50-metre stretch of its tracks was left hanging in the air as the soil underneath was washed away.

The overall toll of rain-related deaths since June 24 in the state reached 283. As many as 1,442 houses have been totally damaged and 8,160 of them partially damaged in 112 landslides and 58 flashfloods in Himachal Pradesh so far.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said while about 1,200 roads were affected on Monday, half of them will be opened by the evening. The weather office predicted extremely heavy rains in nine out of 12 districts of the state on Tuesday.

The Chandigarh-Manali national highway was closed due to flash floods, which washed away a few vehicles. Also, alternative routes between Mandi and Kullu were blocked due to landslides. In Mandi district, seven members of a family, including a two-year-old, were killed in a landslide late on Sunday night in Seghli panchayat.

Due to heavy rain for the past three days, several villages at Balh Valley were flooded and a few houses were badly damaged. Besides, seven members of a family were killed in a cloudburst at Jadon village in Solan district on Sunday night, Deputy Commissioner of Solan Manmohan Sharma said. Two houses were washed away following the cloudburst.

The water level at Pong Dam reached 1,395.31 ft, crossing its maximum limit of 1,390 ft with an inflow of 7.3 lakh cusecs. The level at the Bhakra Dam was at 1,675.71 ft as against its maximum of 1,680 ft.(Syndicated feed-Featured image credit-CNN)

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