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Worst floods since 1995 hit Himachal Pradesh, India

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At least 25 people have died in flash floods, landslides and other rain-related incidents in northwestern India over the past couple of days, officials said Tuesday, September 25, 2018. Meanwhile, more than 1 000 people have been stranded after landslides and fresh snow blocked roads.

Heavy monsoon rains affecting northern India over the past couple of days have caused numerous landslides and widespread floods in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana, claiming lives of at least 25 people, officials said today. Eight deaths have been reported from Himachal Pradesh, seven from Jammu and Kashmir, six from Punjab and four from Haryana.

Floods and landslides have affected a total of 10 districts in Himachal Pradesh, a mountainous state whose state minister described the floods as the most devastating since 1995.

"After 1995, this is the first time that such a devastating floodlike situation is being witnessed. After finding 19 people stranded, rescue operation was launched as no other option was available," State transport minister Govind Singh Thakur said.

Roads, bridges, houses and vehicles were washed away in many places and the Beas waters even flooded the Manali-Chandigarh highway, local media report.

According to Hindustan Times, over 800 students and their teachers, who had gone to Himachal’s Chamba district to participate in a sports competition, are stranded in a remote area of tribal Bharmour sub-division due to landslides.

150 roads in the district, including many national highways, have been blocked, officials said, adding that all the students are safe and lodged at Government School, Holi. Villagers and administrative officials are taking care of their food and other requirements, they said.

Also stranded are around 300 people, including locals, Buddhist monks, foreign tourists and students in Lahaul and Spiti, the tribal district which has been cut-off from the rest of the state due to heavy snowfall.

In Indian Administered Kashmir, an overflowing river in Kathua region bulged beyond danger limits and one local resident, trapped in water, had to be rescued on Monday just before the water breached the wall and flooded the entire area.

Educational institutes have been ordered to remain closed on Tuesday in Punjab. Schools have also been closed in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir and in most places of Himachal Pradesh.

The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) issued an advisory to the Punjab government that it will release 'excess' water from the Pong dam in the wake of incessant rains in catchment areas of the Beas river. An alert has been issued to the residents of downstream areas including Mand, Shahpur Kandi and Mukerian.

Featured image credit: Times Of India

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