Heavy rain, snow throws life out of gear in Himachal

Shimla: A late surge in south-west monsoon has thrown life out of gear in the hills, as snow blockaded high passes like Rohtang and Barlacha, surging streams and rivers have damaged roads, bridges, disrupted drinking water supplies and hindered movement of people including tourists.

Over 50 centimeters of snow was reported from Rohtang Pass that has cut off access to Lahaul valley. Fresh snow has been reported from Kinnaur, Bharmaur and higher reaches of Kullu.

Rising water levels in Pabbar River has threatened Sandrur village in Rohru, forcing the district administration to evacuate people. “Thirteen families, who lived close to the river bank have been evacuated and shifted to safer places,” said JS Rana, district magistrate.

Landslides and a bridge at Kandhulu Nala being washed away has disrupted traffic on the Hindustan-Tibet border road, which is a life line for Kinnaur and Spiti valley.

Landslides near Kingal and Jeori have disrupted traffic on the national highway to Kinnaur,” said Rana. No loss to life has been reported but some kaccha houses have been partially damaged, he said.

A police spokesman from Keylong in Lahaul reported having rescued about 140 people from in and around Sarchu Pass. Among those rescued were 22 foreigners who were stranded because of snow in the region, he said.

Manmohan Singh director meteorological office has set out a warning that heavy rain is likely to continue over the lower reaches for the next 36 hours and more snow in the higher reaches.

This warning comes in the backdrop of the state having recorded the heaviest rain during the last 48 hours, this monsoon season. The met office has also reported a sharp drop in temperatures, marking the last 24 hours as the coldest day of the season.

While it poured cats and dogs in most parts of the state, the northern district of Chamba, western district of Lahaul & Spiti and some parts of Kangra, Hamirpur and Una districts experienced relatively less rain.

Even as an unbroken spell of rain continues, over the past 48 hours Shimla has recorded 140 mm of rain. Other parts in the district, Jubbal recorded 184 mm, Kumarsen 115, Rohru 133 and Rampur recorded 95 mm of rain in the last 48 hours.

Pacchad in Sirmaur has recorded 312 mm of rain in the last 48 hours making it the rainiest spot in Himachal.

In Sundernagar-91, Bhuntar-62, Kalpa-113, Dharamshala-23, Una-19, Mandi-71, Nahan-87, Keylong-13, Palampur-13, Solan-148, Gohar 160, Banjar 134, Dharampur 150, Kasauli 128, , Kandaghat 137, Karsog 108, Sunni Bhajji 91, , Hamirpur 70, Barsar Mehre 73, Sangla 110, Jogindernagar-68, Rajgarh 129, Aghar 65, Kahu -86, Pandoh 70, Baijnath -54, Kasol-79, Berthin 70, Jhandutta 67, Seobagh -50 Bhoranj 61, Ghumarwin 59, Sujanpur Tira 44, Baldwara 45, Renuka 84, Sangrah 78, Bangana 24, Jhungi 20 and Nalagarh 19 mm of rain was recorded in 48 hours.

Heavy silt flows in Satluj River have cause 1500 MW Jhakri hydro generation plant to shut down causing a shortfall in the northern grid.

A plant spokesman said as the silt levels rose above 4000 parts per million, the plant had to be shut down, lest silt damages vital plant machinery.

A weak monsoon had piratically had a trouble free generation year at Jhakri. This is the first shutdown the country’s largest hydro plant has had in the year.

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