Shimla: At least 22 people were killed in Himachal Pradesh on Monday owing to the heavy rainfall for the past two days that triggered statewide flash floods and landslides, officials said.
Nine people were killed as a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the state capital caved in and collapsed, police said.
The temple was located in Summer Hill. At the time of the disaster 25-30 people were present in the temple. There was rush in the temple owing to the holy month of Shravan.
Five people have been rescued from the debris, a police official told IANS.
Confirming the death toll, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Sukhu said 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,” he said in a statement.
In another natural disaster, seven people were buried alive in the Kandaghat area of Solan district after a cloudburst that triggered a flash flood and mudslide.
The disaster occurred at around 1.30 a.m. at Jadon village in Dhawla sub-tehsil, some 45 km from the state capital.
Officials told IANS that four bodies have been recovered and five rescued. Rescue operation is underway despite intermittent rain to trace three missing persons.
The rainfall havoc has caused significant damage to infrastructure and affected the lives of many people in the hill state.
In Mandi district, six people died due to rain disasters.
Mandi Deputy Commissioner Arindam Chaudhary said the death toll might increase.
Two houses and a cowshed were damaged at Majhvar village, where two people are reported to be missing.
Chief Minister Sukhu said reports of cloudbursts and landslides have emerged from various parts of the state resulting in loss of lives and property.
“I urge the people to avoid areas prone to sliding and to stay away from water bodies,” he said.
The Chandigarh-Manali highway has been shut for traffic between Mandi and Kullu since Friday, while alternative routes between Mandi and Kullu were also blocked due to landslides on Monday.
The flow of the Beas River between Manali and Kullu has increased considerably. So are areas adjoining the river in Kullu, Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra and Nurpur towns.