Distressing rainfall claims 327 lives in Himachal Pradesh, two more bodies recovered in Shimla by NDRF
Shimla, Aug 16
The relentless rainfall wreaked havoc in Himachal Pradesh, is leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The death toll has tragically risen to 327, with two additional bodies recovered by the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) in Krishna nagar and Shiv Baowri, two of the worst affected areas. This brings the number of rain-related deaths between June 24 and August 16, 2023, to an alarming 327.
Efforts to locate and evacuate missing individuals continue as NDRF teams are tirelessly working in the Shimla, Kangra, Mandi, and Sirmaur regions. Although there has been progress, challenges persist. In the latest operation at Shiv Bawori in Summerhill, one more casualty was discovered, increasing the total count to 13, while eight people remain unaccounted for. Tragedy struck again as the NDRF recovered the lifeless body of Raju from the Krishananagar slaughterhouse ruins, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, adding to the somber discovery made the previous night of Bhalla from Punjab. These incidents followed the collapse of five buildings, including the slaughterhouse, due to a landslide that sent them tumbling into the Lalpani gorge.
Simultaneously, the district administration has taken decisive action to ensure public safety by declaring three more buildings in Shimla town as structurally unsound. These buildings, including the Urban Development department’s premises at Vikas nagar and two private residences near Saint Edward Schools on the cart road, have been evacuated due to foundational cracks exacerbated by the collapse of a retaining wall and trees.
Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu conducted an aerial survey of the flooded regions in Fatehpur and Indora assembly segments of Kangra district. These areas have been significantly affected by flooding downstream of the Pong reservoir. A total of 27 Panchayats have suffered from waterlogging, with 22 Panchayats severely impacted by the floods. The CM commended the combined efforts of Indian Air Force, Army, National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, Police, and Home Guards in evacuating around 1150 people so far.
Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla visited the stricken Krishna Nagar area in Shimla, meeting with families whose houses were destroyed by a landslide. The affected families have found refuge in a nearby community hall, and relief materials were distributed through the State Red Cross.
Meanwhile clearing the clout, according to spokesperson of State Education Department said that there was no office order being circulated by the state government declaring August 17 as a Holiday for Schools and Colleges. The government spokesperson said that such order circulating on social media is a fake and that respective DC may issue orders as per situation in their district. Meanwhile, SDM Shimla has issued orders declaring a holiday in the capital.
As the aftermath of the torrential rains continues to unfold, Himachal Pradesh remains in a state of emergency. Landslides have ravaged Shimla, claiming the lives of dozens and putting hundreds of families at risk. The cumulative damage includes the destruction of 1762 houses, partial damage to 9852 others, and 3909 cowsheds, along with 292 shops. Tragic figures of human loss have reached 327, while 318 individuals have sustained injuries. Rain-related incidents, including both mishaps and road accidents, have resulted in 214 and 113 fatalities, respectively. A total of 91 landslides were reported across the state, with Shimla, Solan, and Kullu bearing the brunt of these natural disasters. The monetary toll stands at a staggering Rs 7482.82 Crore.
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