Severe heavy rains have unleashed havoc across the northern Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, resulting in a tragic loss of 54 lives and the displacement of numerous residents. Landslides, floods, and disrupted transportation have compounded the crisis, prompting alerts and rescue efforts from authorities.
Himachal Pradesh’s Havoc:
In Himachal Pradesh, the calamitous impact of the incessant downpours has been acutely felt in Kullu, Mandi, Shimla, and Solan districts. Tragically, 19 lives have been claimed in Kullu, with 10 casualties resulting from a landslide in the Sainj valley. In Mandi, 11 individuals have perished, including seven in a landslide along the Sutlej river. Meanwhile, Shimla has seen six fatalities, three of which were a result of a landslide in the Mashobra region. The Ghumarwin area in Solan also suffered, with two lives lost in another landslide incident.
Uttarakhand’s regions of Chamoli, Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal, and Rudraprayag have also borne the brunt of these relentless rains. In Chamoli, a grim total of 14 fatalities has been recorded, with seven lives lost in a landslide in the Joshimath area. Dehradun mourns the loss of five lives, three of which were claimed by a landslide in the Sahaspur region. Pauri Garhwal experienced four casualties, two attributed to a landslide in the Kotdwar area. Meanwhile, Rudraprayag saw two lives lost, one succumbing to a landslide in the Kedarnath vicinity.
The extensive damage caused by the torrential rains extends beyond lives lost, impacting critical infrastructure in both states. In Himachal Pradesh, roads and bridges lay in ruins, while power and communication networks remain disrupted. In Uttarakhand, landslides have forced the closure of the Kedarnath highway and the suspension of the Hemkund Sahib Yatra pilgrimage.
IMD’s Ominous Forecast:
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts further rainfall for the coming days in both Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. A red alert has been issued for impending heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh, while Uttarakhand is placed on an orange alert.
Unified Rescue Efforts:
In response to the crisis, state governments have promptly dispatched rescue teams to the affected regions, working tirelessly to provide assistance and relief to those affected. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended his condolences to the bereaved families and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of the deceased.
As the rains persist, the toll of destruction continues to mount, and the situation remains dire in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The state authorities are working relentlessly to rescue stranded individuals and provide aid to the affected population. With ongoing rainfall expected, the IMD cautions against the heightened risk of further landslides and flooding.