Himachal Pradesh rains: Red alert for 4 districts, people in landslide-prone areas asked to vacate houses

The India Meteorological Department(IMD) Wednesday issued red alert predicting “heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated spells of extremely heavy” rains in four of the state’s 12 districts for the next 24 hours. The red alert warning was for parts of Kangra, Kullu, Mandi and Shimla districts.

Following the IMD red alert, Himachal Pradesh CM Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu appealed the “people to not travel during the night hours”. He asked “people living in landslide-prone areas to vacate their houses”.

The MeT also cautioned of moderate to high flash flood risk in Shimla, Sirmaur, Kangra, Chamba, Mandi, Hamirpur, Solan, Bilaspur and Kullu districts.

Heavy rains are still continuing in several districts. Several parts of the state witnessed heavy rains overnight, with Bilaspur receiving 181 mm of rain followed by Berthin 160 mm, Shimla 132 mm, Mandi 118 mm, Sundernagar 105 mm, Palampur 91 mm, Solan 77 mm.

All schools and colleges have been closed for two days beginning Wednesday in Shimla, Mandi and Solan districts.

The IMD also issued an orange alert for the state on August 24, and predicted that the state is likely to get isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall 115.6 to 204.4 mm on Thursday. The weather department also forecasted landslides and localised floods and urges people to stay away from vulnerable structures.

Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to immediately stop the operations of all stone crushers on both perennial and non-perennial rivulets of the Beas river basin and its tributaries, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said.

The decision has been taken after considering the alarming transformation of the ecosystem during the current monsoon which saw excessive heavy rainfall and landslides, wreaking havoc downstream in the Beas river basin and its tributaries in Kullu, Mandi Kangra and Hamirpur districts besides Chakki rivulet in district Kangra, an official statement issued here said.

It said the decision will ensure the safety of human settlements and infrastructure and to preserve the fragile ecology and environment of the state. However, the lease of legal mining has not been cancelled.

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