Himachal rains: Schools, colleges closed today; death toll goes up to 56
The Shimla-Kalka railway track between Jutogh and Summer Hill railway stations is washed away due to heavy rains. (Photo: ANI / Twitter)

Himachal rains: Schools, colleges closed today; death toll goes up to 56

Heavy rains have battered Himachal Pradesh since August 13, triggering landslides and cloudbursts that blocked several roads and led to house collapse incidents

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The death toll due to rains rose to 56 in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday (August 15) as one more body was pulled out of the rubble of a collapsed Shiva temple in Shimla while two persons died in a fresh landslide in the city, officials said.

At least eight houses, including six makeshift ones, collapsed and a slaughterhouse was buried under the debris following a landslide in Krishnanagar locality in Shimla. Two bodies have been recovered in the fresh landslide, Shimla SP Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi said.

A total of 19 bodies have been recovered since Monday (August 14), 12 at the Shiva temple site in Summer Hill, five at Fagli, and two in Krishnanagar, he said, adding that more than 10 people were still feared trapped at the Shiva temple site.

All the schools and colleges in the state would remain closed for one day on August 16 due to inclement weather, an order issued by the education department said.

Roads blocked, houses collapse due to landslides

Heavy rains have battered Himachal Pradesh since Sunday (August 13), triggering landslides and cloudbursts that blocked several roads and led to house collapse incidents.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Army along with police and SDRF resumed rescue operations at Summer Hill around 6 am, Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, Aditya Negi, told PTI. The rescue operations were suspended on Monday night (August 14) following heavy rainfall.

Also Read: Shimla twin landslides: Death toll rises to 15, more buried under debris of Shiv temple

The shrine was crowded, with devotees offering prayers on an important day of the holy month of Sawan when the tragedy struck at around 7:15 am on Monday (August 14).

Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh University has suspended teaching activities till August 19 in view of the torrential rains. The university library would also remain closed till August 20. However, teaching and non-teaching staff would attend the university as usual, a notification said.

19 people died in Mandi district

Nineteen people died in rain-related incidents in Mandi district on Monday (August 14), Deputy Commissioner Arindam Chaudhary had told PTI. Seven members of a family, including a two-year-old child, were killed in a landslide late on Sunday night (August 13) in Seghli panchayat while six bodies were recovered at Sambhal near Pandoh.

Eleven people died in the Solan district. Seven members of a family were killed in a cloudburst as two houses in Jadon village were washed away on Sunday night (August 13).

Also Read: Himachal Pradesh: 16 killed in Shimla landslides, Solan cloudburst

The UNESCO world heritage Shimla-Kalka railway line was also damaged near Summer Hill in Shimla after a landslide swept away a 50-metre bridge, leaving a portion of the track hanging. The heritage track has suffered damage at five to six places with the most affected stretch being between Shimla and Shoghi, station master Joginder Singh said.

₹ 7,171 crore losses in the State

As many as 857 roads were blocked for vehicular traffic while 4,285 transformers and 889 water supply schemes were disrupted in 11 out of 12 districts in the state. A total of 170 incidents of cloudburst and landslide have been reported in the state this monsoon season and about 9,600 houses damaged.

According to the state emergency operation centre, the state has suffered losses to the tune of ₹ 7,171 crore since the onset of the monsoon on June 24.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition Jai Ram Thakur visited the landslide sites in Shimla on Tuesday (August 15).

(With agency inputs)

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