4 officers among 34 missing, 16 killed in Himachal and Kashmir floods

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At least nine people were killed and seven reported missing following flash floods at two places in Himachal Pradesh in the past 24 hours, officials said on Wednesday.

Seven were washed away in a flash flood in the Tozing rivulet in Udaipur subdivision in Lahaul-Spiti district, some 15 km from district headquarters Keylong, after a cloudburst.

Two people were killed in Chamba district.

Special Secretary, State Disaster Management Authority, Sudesh Mokhta told the media that the search operation has been on to trace three missing from the flash flood in Lahaul-Spiti. Two have been rescued.

In Kullu district, four people, including a Delhi tourist, have drowned in the swollen Parvati river in Manikaran.

Reports say traffic on the Manali-Leh highway was also hampered owing to massive landslides. Several vehicles, including tourists, have been stuck on the highway.

The Mandi-Kullu-Manali national highway was also disrupted from Chandigarh due to landslides at several places ahead of Mandi town.

Owing to heavy rains, the Border Roads Organisation has closed the Manali-Leh highway and the Manali-Udaipur highway. The tourists and locals have been prohibited from travelling beyond Manali towards Leh via Keylong till further orders.

The government has issued an advisory for tourists and locals to refrain from high mountains, wandering near rivers and other places vulnerable to landslides.

Earlier this week, nine tourists were killed when a massive landslide occurred on the Sangla-Bateseri road in Kinnaur district as they were passing in a vehicle.

One person was killed and nine, including four Border Roads Organisation (BRO) men, feared washed away in a flash flood in Himachal Pradesh’s cold desert district of Lahaul-Spiti early Wednesday, officials said.

The disaster occurred following a flash flood in the Tozing rivulet in Udaipur subdivision, some 15 km from district headquarters Keylong, after a cloudburst.

Superintendent of Police Manav Verma told IANS over the phone that the missing people include four BRO men and two labourers of a telecom company. They were travelling towards Pangi-Killar in a vehicle which was swept away in the flash flood.

He said one of the injured was referred to a government hospital in Kullu town, while three people were rescued.

Reports say traffic on the Manali-Leh highway was also hampered owing to massive landslides. Several vehicles, including tourists, have been stuck on the highway.

The Mandi-Kullu-Manali national highway was also disconnected from Chandigarh due to landslides at several places ahead of Mandi town. Public transport and tourist vehicles were said to be stuck there.

Owing to heavy rains, the BRO has closed the Manali-Leh highway and the Manali-Udaipur highway. The tourists and locals have been prohibited to travel beyond Manali towards Leh via Keylong till further orders.

The government has issued an advisory for tourists and locals to refrain from high mountains, wandering near rivers and other places vulnerable to landslides.

Earlier this week, nine tourists were killed when a massive landslide occurred on the Sangla-Bateseri road in Kinnaur district. They were travelling in a vehicle.

Seven people died, 12 were rescued while 27 went missing on Wednesday in flash floods triggered by cloudburst in Jammu and Kishtwar’s Kishtwar district.

Shafqat Hussain, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kishtwar told reporters seven bodies have been recovered and 12 persons rescued in the cloudburst that hit Hunzar village in Dachan area of Kishtwar.

“Seven bodies have been recovered, 12 persons have been rescued so far while 25 to 27 are still missing.

“Rescue effort is going on. Police, army and SDRF are engaged in the rescue operation”, SSP said.

The officer said heavy rain is continuing in the area that has been hampering the rescue operation.

Rescue teams had to cover 25 kms of motorable road and then trek 15 kms to reach the disaster site, SSP added.

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