19 rescued by IAF in Himachal

September 24, 2018 11:29 AM

SHIMLA: An Indian Air Force chopper rescued 19 people on Saturday in Himachal Pradesh as they were stuck in a flashflood triggered by continuous heavy rain, officials said.

On the direction of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, the chopper from the Indian Air Force was requisitioned to rescue the stranded people at Dobi in Kullu district, a government spokesperson told IANS. He said all of them were rescued safely.

He said while presiding over an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation arisen due to the heavy rains, particularly in Kullu, Chamba, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts, the Chief Minister directed the officers to take all precautionary measures to minimize loss to life and property.

Thakur said the Public Works Department must ensure roads were cleared of landslides or debris at the earliest. Strict vigils should be kept on rising water level of the Chamera and Pandoh dams and early warning would be provided to authorities.

It was informed at the meeting that 120 persons stranded at Koksar in the Lahaul Valley have been rescued. Similarly, 23 persons have been rescued from Marhi and 23 from Rohtang area in Kullu district.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) also rescued 14 persons from Kullu district. A total of 60 sheep and goats died due to landslide in Chamba district.

Meanwhile, as a precaution the Deputy Commissioners of Kullu, Chamba, Kinnaur and Mandi districts decided to close all educational institutions in their respective district for Monday due to heavy rains.

The southwest monsoon remained aggressive in the state with most of the areas experiencing heavy to extremely heavy rains, causing landslides in some areas and blocking the highways. All the major rivers and their tributaries were in spate, officials said.

The water level in the Beas river also rose abnormally touching the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway 21 near the Hanogi temple in Mandi district.

While picturesque tourist town Manali recorded the highest rainfall in the state at 127 mm, it was 125 mm in Dharamsala, 124 mm in Una and 90 mm in Dalhousie.

State capital Shimla saw 47 mm rain.

The highway that connects Manali with Leh in Jammu and Kashmir has been closed for traffic owing to heavy snow, officials said.

The Manali-Leh highway is crucial to the movement of the armed forces and their supplies and wares to forward areas in Ladakh.

An official of the local Met office said there are chances of heavy rainfall at some places in the state till Monday and thereafter the intensity of rains will start receding.

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