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December 4, 2023 2:34 pm

HP rains: Death toll in landslides, cloudbursts and house collapse increases to 53

Shimla, August 15

The death toll in incidents such as landslides, cloudbursts and house collapse due to heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh since Sunday night has increased to 53.

Two more bodies were recovered from a collapsed Shiv temple in Shimla on Tuesday, taking the total number of bodies recovered in the twin landslide sites at Summerhill and Fagli increased to 16, officials said. Officials said that around 10 people are still feared buried under the debris in Shimla’s Summerhill and Fagli.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Army along with police and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) resumed rescue operations at Summerhill around 6 am, Deputy Commissioner of Shimla Aditya Negi told PTI.

The rescue operations were suspended on Monday night following heavy rainfall.

A total of 16 bodies have been recovered since Monday, 11 at the Shiv temple and five at Fagli, he said, adding more than 10 people are feared still buried at the Shiv temple site.

The shrine was crowded, with devotees offering prayers on an important day of the holy month of Sawan when the tragedy struck at around 7:15 am.

Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh University has suspended teaching activities till August 19 in view of the torrential rains triggering landslides and blocking roads. The University library would also remain closed till August 20.

However teaching and non-teaching staff would attend the university as usual, a notification issued here on Tuesday said.

As many as 19 persons died in rain-related incidents in Mandi district on Monday, Deputy Commissioner Arindam Chaudhary had told PTI.

Seven members of a family, including a two-year-old child, were killed in a landslide late on Sunday night in Seghli panchayat while six bodies were recovered at Sambhal near Pandoh.

Eleven people died in the Solan district.

Seven members of a family were killed in a cloudburst as two houses in Jadon village were washed away on Sunday night.

The Unesco world heritage Shimla-Kalka railway line was also damaged near Shimla’s Summerhill here after a landslide swept away a 50-metre bridge, leaving a portion of the track hanging.

The heritage track has suffered damage at five to six places with the most affected stretch being between Shimla and Shoghi, station master Joginder Singh said.

As many as 857 roads were blocked for vehicular traffic while 4,285 transformers and 889 water supply schemes are disrupted in 11 out of 12 districts in the state.

According to the state emergency operation centre, the state has suffered losses to the tune of Rs 7,171 crore since the onset of monsoon on June 24 till August 14.

A total of 170 incidents of cloudburst and landslide have been reported in the state this monsoon season and about 9,600 houses damaged.

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