Heavy rain lash several parts of Himachal Pradesh; 85 roads closed, portion of Chandigarh-Manali highway caves in near Pandoh


Heavy rain lashed several parts of Himachal Pradesh, leading to the closure of 85 roads for vehicular traffic.

The Shimla meteorological office on Thursday issued an ‘orange’ alert, warning of heavy to very heavy rains accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning at isolated places till Friday and warned of flash floods risk in a few areas in Mandi, Sirmaur and Shimla districts.

As many as 85 roads including 59 in Mandi, 21 in Shimla, four in Mandi and one in Kangra were closed for vehicular traffic following rains and 17 transformers were disrupted in the state, according to the state emergency operation centre.

A portion of the stretch between Mandi and Pandoh of the Chandigarh-Manali four-lane highway which had developed cracks on Wednesday caved in on Thursday, forcing officials to allow only one-way traffic, officials said.

Locals said a retaining wall was constructed by spending lakhs of rupees but it has started sinking and has gone down by about two feet. They questioned the quality of the construction.

The tarring work is going on at the spot on a war footing, project manager Raj Shekar had said earlier.

The meteorological department said monsoon activity is likely to intensify and spells of heavy to very heavy rainfall are likely over the next two-three days at a few places in Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kangra, Chamba, Mandi, Shimla, Solan and Sirmaur districts.

The Met office also issued a ‘yellow’ warning for heavy rains on July 6 and 7, and cautioned of damage to plantation, horticulture and standing crops, partial damage to vulnerable structures, minor damage to ‘kutcha’ houses and huts due to strong winds and rain, disruption of traffic and waterlogging in low-lying areas.

Sundernagar has received 119 mm of rainfall, the highest in the state, since Wednesday evening.

Palampur received 109.4 mm of rainfall, Shimla 90.6 mm, Gohar 80 mm, Solan 79.8 mm, Mashobra 78.5 mm, Jogindernagar 75 mm, Baijnath 70 mm, Mandi 68.2 mm, Kufri 59.2 mm, Kangra 49.2 mm and Narkanda 48.5 mm during this period.

Narkanda in Shimla district recorded the lowest minimum temperature of 13.4 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night while Una was the hottest during the day with a maximum temperature of 33.6 degrees Celsius.