Death toll from rains, floods in Indian Himalayan state rises to 55

Death toll from rains, floods in Indian Himalayan state rises to 55

Rescue, restoration operation underway in Himachal Pradesh state, says top official

By Anadolu staff

ANKARA (AA) – The death toll from heavy rains and floods in India’s Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh rose to 55, a state official said on Tuesday.

Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, the state's chief minister, said around 55 people have died as the heavy rainfall lashed the state in the last few days.

"Rescue and restoration operation is underway on war footing," he told the media, fearing that the death toll is likely to rise further.

In the last 48 hours, the state witnessed multiple cloudbursts, flash floods and landslides at several places leading to the loss of lives.

The Himachal Pradesh police on Tuesday asked the residents of areas around the banks of River Sutlej – which passes through the state – especially downstream of the Bhakra Dam to stay alert "as the volume of water has increased considerably and the dam has discharged water to reduce the water level in the reservoir."

The Indian weather department said that the state braces for "heavy to very heavy rainfall (115.6 to 204.4 mm)," on Tuesday.

A statement by the Disaster Management Authority said on Tuesday that hundreds of roads are blocked due to the bad weather.

The death toll due to the monsoon rains in the Himachal state since June this year is over 280, according to the state’s Disaster Management Department.

Television footage earlier showed several blocked roads, gushing waters, and damaged bridges and houses, as rescuers were busy with restoration work.

Dozens of people have died in various Indian states in the past few weeks as heavy monsoon rains lashed several parts of the country. Monsoon, the season of heavy rain in parts of Asia, lasts from June to September.

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