Monsoon death toll in Himachal Pradesh climbs to 432 which is considered as the highest in last five years while twelve people have died in last 24 hours, according to the Disaster Management Authority.
Widespread rains and snowfall at high altitude passes resulting in a series of landslides, disruption of major roads and National Highways threw life completely out of gear in Himachal Pradesh, even as temperature dropped significantly in Shimla—the capital city, and Lahaul-Spiti district. Wintry conditions prevailed all over the state on Thursday as result of the rains and snowfall in Lahaul-Spiti valleys.
Thick fog engulfing the hills for the past 24 hours created havoc trouble for the travelers which also resulted in several road accidents. Few of these were fatal, others left many people injured due to skidding of the vehicles and mid-way collusions .
(Photo Credit- Sanjay Sood)
Superintendent of Police Lahaul Spiti Manav Verma told Outlook that it has been raining incessantly. A travel advisory has been issued for the people asking them to avoid journey during next 24 hours .
There has been a road disruption near Nehru Kund on Manali Leh road (National Highway no 3) due to landslides.
It has been continuously raining at Baralacha La Pass ( 15,922 feet) affecting the mobility of the vehicles on Manali Leh road . Only those vehicles used for essential supplies to Leh are allowed to move as the pass has been very slippery for normal mobility of the vehicles. Tourists are not allowed to take-up their journeys .
“There is two to three cms of snow at the Pass” said SP Manav Verma, adding that Lahaul may experience snow much before the normal timing.
The biggest advantage, however, remains Rohtang Tunnel commissioned a year back by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is quite a dependable route for all emergency evacuations .
The Meteorological Department, which had issued a yellow warning for two days, said heavy rains would continue to cause landslides and road accidents primarily because of poor visibility caused by thick monsoon fog . Monsoon activity remained large excess in Himachal Pradesh during past week except Chamba, Kinnaur where rainfall was deficient and Lahaul Spiti where rainfall was large deficient.
The temperature in Shimla and a few other hill stations had dropped by 3 to 4 degree C in the past 24 hours.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who was slated to fly to Bilaspur on official tour, had to cancel the plan because of visibility problem to fly his chopper .Earlier he had to make an emergency landing on Wednesday while return from Dodra-Kawar which is the state’s remotest and lesser developed area in Shimla across Chanshal Pass .
Three young cops, who were riding a motorbike died. Two of them died on spot in Gagret area of Una this morning as the bike was hit by a truck
Shimla-Parwanoo National Highway has also been experiencing landslides at different places hitting the apple transportation badly. Chandigarh -Manali Highway also faces frequent blockades and road disruptions risking the lives of tourists and other road users. Both National Highways, however, are open, said Principal Secretary (Disaster Management ) Onkar Sharma.
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