Several buildings collapsed in Kullu district and hundreds of travelers were trapped in relief camps on Thursday after a landslide blocked the road to Mandi in rain-hit Himachal Pradesh.
Over 900 people were in camps near Pandoh on the Kullu-Mandi road on Wednesday night.
Three more bodies were recovered from the debris of a Shimla temple that was buried under a landslide on August 14 in Summer Hill area of Shimla.
Seven or eight buildings that collapsed in Kullu’s Ani town have already been evacuated and there were no casualties, officials said.
The authorities have ordered all schools in Shimla to be closed on Friday.
Nearly 120 people have died in landslides and other rain-related incidents in the state this month, of which nearly 80 have died since August 14. Altogether 242 people have died in Himachal Pradesh since the onset of monsoon on June 24.
Officials said people stranded on the Kallu-Mandi highway have been shifted to relief camps set up in hotels, rest houses and residential houses at Pandoh, Aut and Bajaura.
Several vehicles could be seen on both sides of the landslide affected area.
Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu said in a statement issued on Thursday that food packets were distributed to about 950 people in relief camps on Wednesday.
Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Aani, Naresh Verma said that seven to eight buildings containing shops, banks and commercial establishments other than houses had developed cracks four-five days ago.
The buildings declared unsafe recently have been evacuated and the damage is being assessed, he said.
Verma said that other unsafe buildings along the National Highway-305 in Aini have also been evacuated as a precautionary measure.
The damaged houses/multi-storey buildings belonged to Gyan Chand, Mahesh Kumar, Subhash Chand, Inder Chand, Vidya Devi, Shashi Bala, Suresh Kumar, Chiranji Lal, Khem Chand, Laik Ram and their sons Chuni La and Tule Ram.
So far 27 bodies have been recovered from the debris of three major landslides in Shimla recently. Shimla Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi told PTI that 20 bodies were recovered from the Shiv temple, five in Fagli and two in Krishna Nagar.
Earlier on Thursday, the body of Niraj Thakur (45) was recovered from the debris of the temple and now two more bodies of Samaira (4) and Pawan (64) have been recovered, they announced the closure of the operation. One more person is being reported missing.
Chief Minister Sukhu claimed on Thursday that the state has suffered a loss of Rs 12,000 crore so far.
Rain continued in many parts of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday as well. Palampur received 137 mm of rain, Nahan 93 mm, Shimla 79 mm, Dharamsala 70 mm and Mandi 57 mm of rain since Wednesday evening.
The local meteorological office on Friday issued a ‘yellow warning’ for heavy rain and predicted more rain in the state till August 30.
Principal Secretary (Revenue) Onkar Chand Sharma said, at least 729 roads are closed in the state and there is no power in many areas due to damage of 2,897 power transformers.
Himachal Pradesh received heavy rains three times this monsoon. First, on 9 and 10 July, large-scale devastation occurred in Mandi and Kullu districts. Shimla and Solan districts were affected in the second round on August 14 and 15 and Shimla city was heavily damaged in the third round on Tuesday night.
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