Heavy monsoon rains triggered floods and landslides in India’s Himalayan region, leaving at least 22 people dead and many others trapped, officials said Monday.
A cloudburst in mountainous Himachal Pradesh state’s Solan district on Sunday night killed nine people in the area, authorities told the Press Trust of India news agency.
Nine more bodies were pulled out from under mud and debris after two landslides in Shimla, the state’s capital, authorities said.
Four others were killed in heavy rains and a landslide in the state’s Hamirpur district, they added.
Pray for Himachal. Visuals are of today morning majorly at Mandi district. The rain is not stopping yet. It is continuous still in most parts. There has been huge loss of life , properties. Many Villages have been washed away in Himachal pic.twitter.com/b4hIyBjfDz
— Go Himachal (@GoHimachal_) August 14, 2023
The state’s chief minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, said rescuers in Shimla were working to clear the debris and help those still trapped.
Cloudbursts — when more than 3.9 inches of rain falls within 3.8 square miles in an hour — are a common occurrence in Himalayan regions and have the potential to cause intense flooding and landslides.
Have you ever been in a flood?
Homes in Solan were washed away and roads flooded in the incessant rains, police told PTI.
In Shimla, the landslides brought down a Hindu temple, and authorities said the death toll could rise as they work to pull out those who are still trapped.
Before n after pics of ShivBawari in Summerhill, Shimla💔 pic.twitter.com/PGcdnMiXoJ
— Queen of Himachal (@himachal_queen) August 14, 2023
All schools and colleges in the state have been shut and more than 700 inundated roads have been closed.
India’s weather department warned that moderate to heavy rainfall will hit various parts of the state on Monday. It had issued a red alert over the weekend for intense downpours in neighboring Uttarakhand state, where 60 people have died in monsoon rains this season, PTI reported.
In July, record monsoon showers killed more than 100 people over two weeks in parts of northern India, including in Himachal Pradesh, which was the worst hit.
Disasters caused by landslides and floods are common in India’s Himalayan north during the June-September monsoon season.
Last year, flash floods killed nearly 200 people and washed away houses in Uttarakhand.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.