Four persons including three members of a family were feared dead as flash floods triggered by a cloudburst wrecked havoc in Dharampur area of Mandi district, 250 km from here, this morning, inundating vast areas, washing away vehicles and blocking over 100 roads in the region.
Three members of a family were feared to have been buried alive after their house collapsed due to a landslide while a sadhu was washed away in the gushing water of swollen Son Khud, a tributary of Beas river, police said.
Mahinder Singh Thakur, the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Dharampur, said that damaged caused to private property was in crores while loss to public property too was massive. He said that few more people were seen by locals in flood water and it was yet to be verified whether they survived or not.
Around 12 people were stranded at the local bus stand when flash flood caught them off guard. They were later rescued when the water level receded. Three buses, over four dozen houses and shops were washed away, while half a dozen light vehicles were swept away in the floods, police said.
Heavy rains flooded several areas in Dharamsala, Kangra, Sujanpur, Sundernagar and other places. National Highway 88 was blocked at two places, while over 100 link roads were blocked in Mandi, Kullu, Chamba, Shimla and Kangra districts due to major landslides, police said.
All major rivers and their tributaries in the state are in spate and people living along the river banks have been asked to remain vigilant by the authorities and take necessary precautions. Local MLA Mohinder Singh and BJP leader P K Dhumal said that five persons have died in floods but the local administration confirmed only three persons were buried alive.
The local MeT office has warned of heavy rains at some places tomorrow along with rains and thunderstorms in lower, mid and higher hills of the state over the next six days. Sundernagar in Mandi district was the wettest in the region with 162 mm rains, while Sarkaghat and Dharamshala recorded 135 mm and 121 mm rains, according to MeT officials.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has directed all the Deputy Commissioners, Police, Home Guards and all departments concerned to be vigilant in the wake of heavy rainfall and incidents of recent landslides and flash floods in the state.