A tourist bus was washed away into a flooded river in Himachal Pradesh’s Manali, a famous tourist destination in the state. The bus was empty when it was washed away into the flooded Beas river, news agency ANI said.
Manali, which falls in Kullu district, has received heavy rainfall in the state in 24 hours, recording 127.4 mm, the Met department said.
The southwest monsoon has caused heavy to extremely heavy rains, causing landslides in some areas and blocking the highways. The water level in the Beas river has risen abnormally touching the Chandigarh-Manali National Highway 21 near the Hanogi temple in Mandi district. Vehicular traffic has been blocked on National Highway 3 near Aut in Mandi district due to water from flooded Beas river entering the highway, news agency ANI reported.
— ANI (@ANI) September 23, 2018
ANI also carried visuals of a truck being washed away from the road into the flooded river near Kullu, about 200 kms from state capital Shimla. It is not clear whether the bus was empty at the time of the incident.
The Met Office has forecast heavy rains and snowfall in the upper hills till Monday.
All government and private schools will remain closed in Kinnaur, Kullu and Kangra districts, officials said.
Several roads in various parts of the state, especially in Kinnaur and Chamba districts, were blocked due to landslides, heavy rains and snowfall, district officials said.
Twenty stranded people were rescued from the Rohtang Pass, which saw about four feet of fresh snowfall on Sunday, a Border Roads Organisation (BRO) official said.
Chamba sub-divisional magistrate has warned the people not to go near the Ravi river and other nullahs as water is being released from the Chamera dam.
The water level in Beas is increasing due to incessant rains in the catchment areas. In Kangra, the Larji dam gates are being opened and, if the situation persists, the shutters of Pandoh dam can be opened at any time, officials said, adding that it had been raining continuously in Jawali town since Saturday evening.
State Forest Minister Govind Singh Thakur visited the flood-affected areas of Kullu district to take stock of the situation, along with district Deputy Commissioner Yunus, an official said.
The state received moderate-to-heavy rainfall since Saturday, with Naina Devi town in Bilaspur district being the wettest with 178.2 mm of rainfall. Sarkaghat town in Mandi district recorded 137 mm of rain, followed by Mehre (132.6 mm), Manali (127.4 mm), Dharamshala (125.2 mm) and Kasauli (105 mm), the meteorological department said. Shimla received 47.1 mm of rain.
Kalpa was the coldest place with minimum temperature of nine degrees Celsius. In Dalhousie, the minimum temperature was 10.1 degrees Celsius, followed by Kufri (10.6 degrees), Manali (10.8 degrees), Shimla (13 degrees)