Himachal Pradesh: Cars, buildings swept away in flash floods triggered by heavy rains in Dharamsala

The continuous heavy rain for almost two hours led to a flash flood in Dharmsala's Bhagsunag area, a hot tourist destination

Himachal Pradesh: Cars, buildings swept away in flash floods triggered by heavy rains in Dharamsala
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Bipin Bhardwaj

The first spell of heavy rains brought misery to many residents of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh on Monday morning.

The continuous heavy rain for almost two hours led to a flash flood in Dharmsala's Bhagsunag area, a hot tourist destination, some 250 km from the state capital Shimla, damaging many vehicles parked along the roadside there.

Flash floods in Manji river also damaged some houses and commercial establishments in Bagli area on the Dharamsala-Kangra road. The floods also left trails of destruction at many places in the district with reports of washing away of stray cattle and kuchha hutments along many seasonal rivulets coming in. Besides the Sheela-Bagli road, many other village roads were also damaged.

Experts claimed that massive encroachments on drains and rivulets have obstructed the natural course of the water which led to the flash floods in Bhagsunag area of Dharamsala.

Following the flash floods, the administration has sounded an alert directing officials of all departments to be ready to meet any situation. The administration has also issued an advisory for the general public and tourists to avoid visiting rivers, seasonal rivulets, springs and other such places for the next two-three days.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director Manmohan Singh, heavy to extremely heavy rainfall was recorded at many places in Kangra district. The rainfall was widespread in the state.

Dharamsala recorded precipitation of 119 mm, the highest ever in this monsoon. Due to heavy rains, most rivers flowing from Dhauladhar hills were in full spate, he said.

Palampur in Kangra district recorded 155 mm rain, the highest in the state, while it was 48 mm in Dalhousie, 10 mm in the state capital and 55 mm in picturesque tourist resort Manali.

The weather bureau has forecast heavy rain at isolated places in the state till Wednesday.

The southwest monsoon arrived in Himachal Pradesh on June 13, in its earliest onset in the past 21 years. Its normal arrival in the state is June 26.

Some Twitter users posted videos of the floods and prayed for safety of the people:

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Published: 12 Jul 2021, 5:03 PM