Rivers In Spate, 5 Dead, 15 Missing As Heavy Rains Pound North India

Dharamshala: Heavy rains have continued to pound much of Northern India over the last 24 hours, causing extensive damage in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand as rivers and streams are in spate washing away larges tracts of lands, triggering landslides and breaking down road links to many parts of the hilly regions.

Issuing an advisory to tourists and residents to stay away from landslide prone areas and riversides, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur stated that 5 people are reported to have died and as many as 15 are reported missing in the last 24 hours across the state.

“National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and state emergency relief teams have been rushed to the sites where people are trapped and in need of rescue operations,” said Jai Ram Thakur.

At 330 mm rain recorded in 24 hours till 8.30 a.m. on 20th August, 2022 in Dharamshala, it was one of the highest single day rain recorded in August for the station in decades.

Railway Bridge On British Built Kangra heritage Track Collapses
With the stream in spate at Chakki, pillars of a 90 year old railway bridge on the Kangra Valley Railway track collapsed on 20.8.2022 (Photo by Arvind Sharma)

With the rivers, rivulets and streams in spate, a 9 decade old railway bridge at Chakki on the British built heritage track that runs through Kangra valley connecting Pathankot with Joginder Nagar has collapsed.

With more rain forecast in the coming days, district magistrate Dr Nipun Jindal has issued an advisory asking, “tourists and the general public are advised not to go near rivers, streams and other water bodies.

“Any unnecessary movement of a person outside their homes should be avoided,” said Dr Jindal. Schools have been instructed to conduct online classes so that children don’t have to attend regular school under such bad weather conditions.

Many vital road links, including the one connecting Dharamsala to Macleodganj and Dharamsala – Gaggal airport have been damaged that has curtailed the flow of traffic.The Pathankot – Mandi highway is closed to traffic due to landslide blockages at several places.

Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI. In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.

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