Destruction unfolds: 51 lives claimed in a single day in Himachal, with 14 tragic casualties attributed to landslides in Shimla.

Tragedy struck Himachal Pradesh as torrential rains unleashed chaos, resulting in at least 51 lives lost. The rainfall triggered devastating landslides that severed crucial roads, inflicted destruction upon residences, and tragically buried devotees beneath the debris of a temple in Shimla.

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The calamity claimed the lives of fourteen individuals as a result of two landslides within the state capital. Authorities voiced concerns about the potential for more people to be trapped beneath the remnants of the Shiva temple situated in the Summer Hill area. This holy site was bustling with devotees offering their prayers on a significant day during the holy month of Sawan.

In Mandi district, eighteen people lost their lives due to rain-induced incidents, a grim revelation made by Deputy Commissioner Arindam Chaudhary. The nearby Solan district, another severely impacted area, witnessed the tragic demise of eleven people, including seven members of a single family.

The meteorological office’s predictions forewarned of extraordinarily heavy downpours across nine of the state’s twelve districts on Monday, excluding Kullu, Kinnaur, and Lahaul and Spiti. A yellow warning was issued for Tuesday.

Rescue operations were impeded by persistent heavy rainfall in Shimla, where numerous sections were devoid of electricity since the previous night, due to landslides and uprooted trees severing power lines.
Notably, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu confirmed that nine bodies were extricated from the debris of a Shiva temple in the Summer Hill region, while another landslide in the Fagli area resulted in five fatalities and the rescue of seventeen individuals. As a response to the disaster, all educational institutions remained closed in the state. The emergency operation center revealed that an astounding 621 roads had been rendered impassable due to the catastrophe.

Hamirpur district reported four fatalities amid unceasing rains. A tragic tale unfolded as a person was swept away by floodwaters, and an elderly woman lost her life when her residence succumbed to the relentless rains, while her son was fortunately rescued.

Solan district experienced the heart-wrenching loss of seven members from a single family during a cloudburst in Jadon village. Meanwhile, in Balera panchayat, two children met their demise when their makeshift dwelling was engulfed by a landslide. In Rangas and Bhagatu panchayat, a woman was killed in a landslide, and an 80-year-old man died in a house collapse incident, respectively.

Mandi district was not spared from the catastrophe, as seven members of a family, including a two-year-old child, were claimed by a landslide in the Seghli panchayat. Additionally, two unidentified bodies were recovered in Sambhal near Pandoh, with two more deaths reported in Dharampur area.

Tragedy reverberated in Sirmaur district as well, with reports of one boy losing his life. Kangra district recorded the loss of two individuals, including an 11-year-old boy.

Himachal Pradesh’s chief minister visited the site of the temple collapse in Shimla, expressing deep concern for those trapped under the debris. Union Home Minister Amit Shah confirmed the engagement of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in relief and rescue operations.

The UNESCO world heritage Shimla-Kalka railway line suffered damage due to a landslide, leaving a portion of the track suspended in the air. Alongside the Army, various response teams were actively participating in relief and rescue operations, striving to address the widespread destruction.

As the state grappled with the aftermath, losses amounting to Rs 7,171 crore had been incurred since the onset of monsoon on June 24, as reported by the state emergency operation center. A distressing total of 170 instances of cloudbursts and landslides were documented this monsoon season, with around 9,600 houses being partially or completely damaged.

The continuous deluge persisted, with the weather department projecting wet conditions in the state until August 18.

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