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Himachal rains: Buildings collapse in Kullu, landslides block highway

Three more bodies were recovered on Thursday from the rubble of the landslide that buried a Shiv Temple in Shimla's Summer Hill area on August 14


Buildings collapse due to a rain-triggered landslide at Anni town, in Kullu (Photo: PTI)

Press Trust of India Shimla/Mandi

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A row of buildings in Kullu district collapsed Thursday and hundreds of travellers were stranded in relief camps after landslides blocked the road to Mandi in rain-battered Himachal Pradesh.
On Wednesday night, there were over 900 people at camps near Pandoh on Kullu-Mandi road.
Three more bodies were recovered on Thursday from the rubble of the landslide that buried a Shiv Temple in Shimla's Summer Hill area on August 14.
The seven or eight buildings which collapsed in Kullu's Anni town had been vacated earlier and there were no casualties, officials said.
Authorities have ordered the closure of all schools in Shimla on Friday.
About 120 people have died in landslides and other rain-related incidents in the state this month, about 80 of them since August 14. Altogether, 242 people have died in Himachal Pradesh since the monsoon began on June 24.
Officials said stranded people on the Kallu-Mandi highway were shifted to relief camps set up in hotels, rest houses and residential homes at Pandoh, Aut and Bajaura.
A number of vehicles could be seen on both sides of the landslide-hit area.
On Wednesday, food packets were distributed to about 950 people in the relief camps, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said in a statement issued on Thursday.
Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Anni, Naresh Verma said seven to eight buildings housing shops, banks and other commercial establishments besides houses had developed cracks four-five days ago.
The buildings were declared unsafe and vacated recently, he said, adding the assessment of the damage is being done.
Other unsafe buildings along national highway-305 in Anni have also been vacated as a precautionary measure, Verma said.
The damaged houses/multi-storeyed buildings belonged to Gian Chand, Mahesh Kumar, Subash Chand, Inder Chand, Vidya Devi, Shashi Bala, Suresh Kumar, Chiranji Lal, Khem Chand, Layak Ram and his son Chuni La, and Tule Ram.
So far, 27 bodies have been recovered from the debris of the three major landslides that hit Shimla recently. While 20 bodies have been recovered from the Shiv temple, five have been recovered in Fagli and two in Krishnanagar, Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi told PTI.
Earlier on Thursday, the body of Neeraj Thakur (45) was recovered from the debris at the temple and now two more bodies of Samayra (4) and Pawan (64) have been recovered, he said, announcing the closure of the operation as no other missing person is being reported.
Chief Minister Sukhu on Thursday claimed that the state has suffered losses of Rs 12,000 crore so far.
Rains continued to lash several parts of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday. While Palampur received 137 mm of rain, Nahan received 93 mm, Shimla 79 mm, Dharamshala 70 mm and Mandi 57 mm since Wednesday evening.
The local MeT office issued a 'yellow warning' of heavy rains on Friday and predicted a wet spell in the state till August 30.
As many as 729 roads are closed in the state and several areas were without electricity as 2,897 power transformers were damaged, said Principal Secretary (revenue) Onkar Chand Sharma.
Himachal Pradesh saw three major spells of heavy rains this monsoon. The first on July 9 and 10 led to large-scale destruction in Mandi and Kullu districts. Shimla and Solan districts were hit during the second spell on August 14 and 15 and Shimla city suffered heavy damage in the third spell on Tuesday night.

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First Published: Aug 24 2023 | 11:57 PM IST

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