5 washed away in Mandi flood untraced

Dipender Manta

Mandi, August 21

Heavy rain spelt doom in Mandi district during the last two days.

As many as 13 persons were killed in flash flood and landslide incidents in the district, while five persons washed away yesterday are still missing.

The search operation today was started by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) at Sandoa village where four members of one family have been missing since Friday night.

A search ops underway after the cloudburst at Bagi Kataula in Mandi on Sunday . Photo: Jai Kumar

They were washed by the flash flood along with their house. Of the six members of the family, four persons are missing, while two bodies were recovered by the rescue team on Saturday.

Pall of gloom descended in Kashan panchayat under Gohar subdivision, where eight bodies of one family were cremated yesterday. The house of Khem Chand, pradhan gram panchayat, Kashan, was hit by a major landslide on Friday night, in which eight members of one family were killed.

One unidentified body of a woman was recovered at Sandhol area of Mandi district. Due to landslide, Tabo-Pooh road was blocked at Kyurith in tribal district Lahaul and Spiti today, forcing suspension of traffic in the area.

Information procured from the district administration revealed that in the last three days, heavy rain has caused huge loss to public and government property worth around Rs 43.89 crore. As many as 59 houses and 60 cow sheds have been damaged causing loss of Rs 85.6 lakh. Besides cows, goat, a calf and mules have been killed, causing loss of around Rs 4.15 lakh.

The Jal Shakti department has calculated its loss to Rs 14.66 crore, the Public Works Department suffered damages of Rs 27.36 crore, Horticulture Department Rs 17.85 lakh and Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Rs 74.24 lakh. Two shops were also damaged causing a loss of 5.10 lakh in the district.

In view of the large-scale damage in the district, affected families have been forced to vacate their houses for safety. They have been provided temporary accommodation in government and private buildings at different places by the administration.

The Mandi-Pathankot highway was blocked to traffic on Friday night as a huge portion of road caved in near Kotrupi. It will take time to restore it to traffic. However, the Chandigarh-Manali highway was restored to traffic today. The road was blocked on Friday night.

Landslide threat is looming over Sraj Bagla and Jagehar villages in the district. The families living here have been asked by the administration to vacate their houses until the situation normalizes.

Additional District Magistrate Mandi Ashwani Kumar said that there was still no clue about five missing persons. The search and rescue operation by the administration launched with the help of the NDRF and SDRF teams was underway.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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