Shimla: Freak June rains have wrecked havoc in high altitude Indo-China border district of Kinnaur with as many as 10 people having lost their lives and huge damage to private and public property reported.
“At least 10 people are reported killed due to landslides in Kinnaur district and dozens are stranded due to blockade of roads,” said a government spokesman.
A family of five, which included three children were buried at Chagaon village near Tapri (220 Km from here) when boulders early today morning fell on their house.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, who was out election campaigning for his wife Pratibha Singh in the region, was stranded as the highway through Kinnaur stands damaged at several places.
Kinnaur is an assembly segment of Mandi parliamentary seat, where polling for bye-elections is to be held on June 23.
Important on a tourist’s itinerary, the scenic Sangla valley was cut off and hundreds of tourists are stand to be stranded in the valley.
Much of the district (over 60 %) has been experience incessant rain over the last 24 hours, said JM Pathania, deputy commissioner Kinnaur. In Pooh sub-division, some places even experience snow, he said.
Many tourists and others are stranded in various parts of the district and efforts are being made to open up the roads that are blocked at several places, he added.
To take stock of the gravity of the situation chief secretary Sudripta Roy after holding a high level meeting here, directed government agencies to work in coordination to deal with the situation.
The government has also issued an advisory for people not to venture out during heavy rains as there was risk of being trapped in landslides.
The election commission was said to be re-drawing plans for moving election material and polling staff into high altitude zones of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Pangi due the fury of early rains in the tribal belt of the state.
Virbhadra has asked the central government to send a team to assess the losses that the state has incurred due to the heavy rainfall.
Meteorological director Manmohan Singh in a release stated that Kalpa in Kinnaur on Monday had recorded 202 mm of rain, the highest precipitation in 24 hours in 15 years.