17 people killed following heavy rains in HP

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Chandigarh, Sep 20 (UNI) At least 17 people were killed following heavy rains in Himachal Pardesh, triggering landslides and house collapses and affecting normal life in the hilly state during the past 24 hours.

Moderate to heavy rain also lashed Punjab and Haryana overnight as monsoon remained vigorous in the twin states, dipping the temperatures by four degrees to 12 degrees celsius below normal.

The monsoon also remained vigorous in Himachal Pradesh where rains blocked roads, uprooted trees and disrupted power supply and telecommunication services in many parts of the mountainous state.

An unspecified number of people were stranded between Keylong, Sarchu, Gramphu and Chhatru and across the Rohtang Pass.

All the 17 deaths have occured in Shimla district. Four children and a man, all from Nepal, were killed when a house collapsed at Chadgoan in Rohru subdivision of Shimla district last night, a report from Shimla quoting police sources said.

A couple from Jharkhand identified as Sukh Ram (27) and Muni (26) and their child were killed at Kangna in New Shimla area when a Kiosk collapsed.

Two unidentified people were buried alive when a part of Tibetan Market, near the Scandal Point in Shimla town, collapsed last night due to heavy rains. Their bodies were later dug out. A milkman died when a shed crashed at Choura Maidan in the town.

One person was washed away while crossing the swollen Kairi Nullah in Chopal sub-division. A woman, her two children and half a dozen cattleheads were buried alive in a house collapse following landslide at Dhamandri.

Three members of a family were buried alive when a house collapsed at Rampur. Rescue teams have recovered the bodies of two people while search was on for the third body, the Shimla report said.

The Beas river and rivulets in Himachal Pradesh were in spate following heavy rain in the catchment areas. The incessant rains have caused spate of landslides and blocked highways and link roads in the state.

The 320-km Hindustan-Tibet raod was blocked due to massive landslide at Matiyana. Landslides have also occured on the Shimla-Kullu road.

The Himachal Pradesh Government has sounded a high alert placing entire government machinery in readiness to deal with any emergency caused by incessant rains in the state.

Moderate to heavy rain pounded several areas in Punjab with Patiala turning the wettest place in the state, recording 173.6 mm rainfall till this morning. Nangal Dam site measured 61.8 mm and Ludhiana 45.9 mm rain.

Several areas in Haryana also experienced moderate to heavy rain overnight. Ambala with 180.6 mm rain was the wettest place in the state while Hissar registered 77.5 mm, Kalka 88.0 mm, Bhivani 69.4 mm, Rohtak 56.1 mm, Narnaul 55.0 mm, Nilokheri 54.0 mm, Panchkula 50.0 mm and Karnal 48.6 mm rainfall.

Heavy rain lashed Chandigarh and its adjoining areas since last night, plummeting the temperature. The city recorded 178.0 mm rainfall till this morning.

The Met office predicted moderate to rather heavy rain or thundershowers in most places of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana and many places in Punjab during the next 24 hours. It warned of heavy rain at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, east Punjab and Haryana during the next 48 hours.

UNI VKJ BK1809

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