The Fact News Service
Shimla, August 14
Nine people have been killed and several others are feared trapped under the debris of a temple, which collapsed in Shimla after being hit by a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall on Monday.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu expressed his condolences over the deaths and said efforts are underway to rescue the people trapped under the debris of the collapsed temple in the Summer Hill area.
“As of now, nine bodies have been retrieved. The local administration is diligently working to clear the debris in order to rescue individuals who may still be trapped,” the Himachal Pradesh chief minister said in a post on the ‘X’ app (formerly known as Twitter.
Sukhu along with state minister Vikramaditya Singh also visited the site of the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
“Twenty to 25 people are trapped under debris here. A total of 21 people have died in the last 24 hours in the state. I appeal to people to stay indoors, to not venture near rivers and landslide-prone areas. Restoration work will begin as soon as rain stops,” the chief minister said.
Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi, Superintendent of Police (SP) Shimla earlier said that a landslide had struck the temple and there was threat to nearby buildings also. “Several people have been stranded. We are waiting for more details,” he said.
Personnel of the SDRF, NDRF and Army are present on the spot to carry out operations to rescue the stranded people.
“I have cancelled my pre-scheduled event in Mandi. August 15 Independence Day program will go on as usual but our priority is to save lives,” chief minister Sukhu said.
State Minister Vikramaditya Singh said that some bodies have been retrieved from under the debris of the temple in Summer Hill.
“Ten to 15 people are still buried under the debris. All efforts are being made to safely rescue people,” Singh said.He added that 12-15 people have died in Mandi district of the State due to inclement weather.
Earlier, seven people were killed in an incident of cloudburst reported at Jadon village of Kandaghat subdivision in Solan district of the state according to Siddhartha Acharya, Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Kandaghat. Two houses and one cowshed also got washed away in the incident.
Chief Minister Sukhu expressed condolences over the deaths and directed authorities to ensure all possible assistance and support.
“Devastated to hear about the loss of 7 precious lives in the tragic cloudburst incident at village Jadon, Dhawla Sub Tehsil in Solan district heartfelt condolences go out to the grieving families. We share in your pain and sorrow during this difficult time. We have directed the authorities to ensure all possible assistance and support to the affected families during this trying period,” CM Sukhu posted on the ‘X’ app.
Incessant showers in Himachal Pradesh over the past 24 hours have triggered landslides, blocking several roads, including the Shimla-Chandigarh road which was closed for buses and trucks.
On the orders of the Chief Minister, the Education Secretary has issued a notification to keep all government, private schools and colleges closed on August 14.
The chief minister has instructed the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary as well as all district collectors to keep a close watch on the situation created due to heavy rains. The administrative staff should be alert and maintain smooth arrangements for roads, electricity and water, he said.