SHIMLA: At least seven people are feared dead and nine reported missing in flash floods triggered by heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh, a senior disaster management official said on Wednesday.
State Disaster Management director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta said four people are feared dead in Kullu district and one person is feared dead in Chamba. Two people were killed and nine are missing in Lahaul-Spiti.
In Kullu, a 26-year-old woman and her four-year-old son were swept away in Brahamganga, a tributary of the Parvati river, near Manikaran on Wednesday due to a sudden surge in the water level, he said.
Another woman and a man were also swept away in the flash floods, he said. In Lahaul’s Udaipur, two tents of labourers and a private JCB were washed away in the flash floods triggered by a cloudburst on Tuesday, Mokhta said.
Two people were killed and nine labourers are still missing, he said. He said police and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) teams were dispatched to search for the missing people but the heavy flow of water hampered the search operation on Tuesday night.
The search operation resumed on Wednesday morning. Lahaul-Spiti Deputy Commissioner Neeraj Kumar told PTI that a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been requisitioned for rescuing the labourers trapped under the debris of landslides.
People living near low-lying areas have been safely evacuated by police, Mokhta said.
More than 160 people have died in India during the past week as a result of heavy rains.
The army and State Disaster Response Force have joined the search, federal minister Jitendra Singh said on Twitter, with some 36 people unaccounted for after the torrents of water swept down a narrow valley in the Kishtwar district of Kashmir.