At least 21 people were killed and several others were feared missing in rain-related incidents in India’s northern hilly state of Himachal Pradesh, officials said Monday.
“In the last 24 hours, heavy rains have claimed many lives. As of now, 21 deaths have been confirmed,” Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said.
Sukhu has visited the affected areas to take stock of the situation.
According to officials a landslide at a Shiv temple in Summer Hill locality of Shimla claimed five lives. Several other people are feared missing, believed to be trapped under the debris.
Four others were reported dead in a landslide in Phagli of Shimla.
In Solan district, seven members of a family were killed in a cloudburst. Likewise, two people were killed after a landslide struck a house in Mandi. In another incident, two people died after a house collapsed in Bambola village of Mandi. A death has been reported due to a landslide in Balera village of Solan district.
Sukhu has appealed to people to stay indoors and avoid going near drains or rivers.
In an interview with a local television news channel, he also asked people to move away from landslide-prone areas and requested tourists not to visit the state for the time being.
Himachal Pradesh has been the worst affected since the beginning of the monsoon in late June in the South Asian country. Flash floods and landslides were triggered by heavy rainfall, causing losses of human life and property. According to the government, until Sunday evening 257 people have been killed.
Authorities have ordered the closure of all schools, colleges and other educational institutions in the state on Monday due to the bad weather.
The state emergency operation center said 752 roads have been closed in the state because of the calamities as a result of heavy rainfall.
According to the India Meteorological Department moderate to heavy rainfall is likely to continue in the state in the next two days.