Himachal rains: Three feared dead in Rohru flash flood, residents evacuated in Kotkhai as cracks develop on road

An elderly couple and their grandson were feared dead after their dhaba was swept away in a flash flood at a village here on Saturday morning, officials said.

Rescue work to trace the trio is underway in Badiyara village in the Rohru area where a flash flood was reported in the Laila rivulet, they added.

The missing elderly couple, Roshan Lal and his wife Bhaga Devi, ran a dhaba in the village and their grandson Kartik had paid them a visit, the officials said.

Following the flash flood, reports of damage to several houses and vehicles in Rohru have started pouring in, they added.

Meanwhile, around 30 km from Rohru, one-metre deep cracks developed along the Bazaar Road at Khaltu Nullah in the Kotkhai tehsil here, dividing the market area into two, Shimla Deputy Commissioner Aditya Negi told PTI on Saturday.

As the cracks deepened due to incessant rains since Friday evening, three families residing in the area were shifted to a safer place, Negi said.

Following rains at Kotkhai, debris entered a hospital campus in Kotkhai, a retaining wall at the area's main bus stand collapsed, a landslide occurred in front of the police station and the power line snapped, ADGP Satwant Atwal said in a tweet.

The shopkeepers of Khaltu Nullah Bazaar have shifted their goods to temporary shelters after cracks developed and residents of the area have been shifted as a precautionary measure, Atwal said.

As the apple season begins, the apple growers in the villages adjoining the Khaltu Nullah market are also a worried lot as a landslide in the market could cut them off from the Guma-Chaila-Thoeg road that is used for the transportation of farm produce and other goods to Shimla and other prominent markets of the state.

As moderate to very heavy rains lashed parts of Himachal Pradesh since Friday, Renuka/Dadahu was the wettest with 195 mm of rainfall, followed by 103 mm at Pachhad, 91 mm at Nahan, 90 mm at Chopal, 88 mm each at Barsar and Sundernagar, weather data of the past 24 hours ending at 8.30 am showed.

While Solan recorded 86 mm of rainfall, Arki and Rohru got 70 mm each, Manali 63 mm, Ghamour and Kasauli 62 mm each, Sangraha 60 mm, Rajgarh 54 mm and Kandaghat 50 mm, the data showed.

The local MeT office has issued an orange warning of heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places on July 22 and a yellow warning of heavy rains from July 23 to 26.

As many as 656 roads are closed for vehicular traffic in the state while 1,673 transformers got damaged and water supply has been hit in 376 places, officials said on Saturday.

Since the onset of the monsoon in the hill state on June 24, as many as 138 people have died in rain-related incidents such as landslides, flash floods, and road accidents, according to the Himachal Pradesh State Emergency Response Centre. The state has suffered a loss of Rs 4,986 crore till July 21.

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