Himachal Pradesh landslide: Death toll mounts to 48, rescue operations continue

August 14, 2017 09:59 PM

Himachal Pradesh, 14th August: The death toll in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi region, where two passenger buses were hit by landslides on Sunday morning, has now reached 48.

  • Rescue operations were temporarily stalled on Sunday night at the landslide site in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi, but were resumed today, said National Disaster Response Force

Rescue operations were temporarily stalled on Sunday night, but resumed early Monday morning, a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) official said.

Monday’s rescue operations are part of a confirmatory search since more people were suspected trapped under the debris, as the buses were carrying more than 60 passengers, said NDRF.

“Search and rescue operations have resumed because we are trying to keep a count of the total number of people who had been travelling and the number of people who could be trapped. As of Sunday night, 47 bodies had been recovered,” the NDRF official stated.

The two buses were hit by a landslide, which had been triggered by a sudden cloudburst, in Mandi’s Kotpuri area on Sunday morning.

While other parts of the country—Assam, Manipur, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan—have also been grappling with floods caused by heavy rainfall this year, officials stated that this incident was the biggest calamity to have struck the Himalayan town this year.

“Small episodes of cloudbursts and landslides have been reported earlier from the Himalayan regions in past years as well, following the 2013 Uttarakhand floods. But this landslide which has killed close to 50 people is the biggest tragedy from the region this year,” said a senior home ministry official.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted his condolences to the families of those affected by the landslides.

Last year, more than 30 people were killed after heavy rain and landslides hit Uttarakhand’s Pithoragrah district.

The home ministry, however, continued to sound alarm bells in other parts of the country as well. On Sunday, it sounded a warning for West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district where the Raidak river was flowing at 1.20 metres above its danger mark of 35.3 metres in the district’s Tufaganj area.

Likewise, it also added that the Mahananda river in Bihar’s Purnia district was flowing at 37.6 metres, 1.95 metres above the usual danger mark.

The NDRF added that in addition to 10 of its rescue teams, which had already been deployed in Bihar, four more teams had been moved from Odisha’s Bhubaneshwar to Purnia for flood rescue operations.

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