Himachal Pradesh Schools, Colleges Closed Today Due to Heavy Rains
Severe rainfall over the last 24 hours in Himachal Pradesh has triggered landslides, leading to the closure of numerous roads, including the vital Shimla-Chandigarh route which is now inaccessible to buses and trucks. Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, taking into account the continuous downpour, has declared the suspension of all schools and colleges in the state until August 14, as per an announcement released on Sunday.
The state's emergency operation center has reported the closure of a total of 621 roads, with Mandi accounting for the highest count at 236, followed by Shimla with 59, and Bilaspur district with 40, all unsuitable for vehicular movement.
In recent weeks, recurring landslides have disrupted a crucial portion of the Shimla-Kalka National Highway connecting Shimla and Chandigarh, as confirmed by officials. The incessant rainfall over the past 48 hours has wreaked havoc across the Hamirpur district, causing a surge in the Beas river and its tributaries. Particularly affected are the regions housing the nullahs of Maan and Kunah, as informed by officials.
Due to heavy rains elevating the water level of the Beas river flowing through the Pong reservoir, the Bhakra Beas Management Board has resolved to release water from the Pong Dam beginning at 8 am on Monday, according to Kangra Deputy Commissioner Niupan Jindal.
Since the commencement of the monsoon season on June 24 in Himachal Pradesh, the state has encountered staggering losses amounting to Rs 7,020 crore, along with 257 fatalities resulting from rain-related incidents and road accidents, as reported by the emergency operation center.
On Sunday, various areas of the state experienced moderate to exceedingly heavy rainfall. Sundernagar witnessed the highest downpour at 178 mm, followed by Sujanpur Tira with 150 mm, Gohar with 130 mm, Kahu with 120 mm, Mandi with 123 mm, Dharmshala with 142 mm, Berthin with 80 mm, and both Baldwara and Nadaun with 70 mm each. Shimla recorded 56 mm of rainfall, while Guler and Pachhad received 40 mm, and Jogindernagar, Nagrota Surian, Solan, and Kangra each saw 30 mm of rain.
The local Meteorological station has issued a yellow warning for heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, and lightning in isolated areas from August 14 to 17, predicting a wet weather pattern in the state persisting until August 19.