Moderate to heavy rains, accompanied by lightning and thunderstorm, lashed several parts of Himachal Pradesh on Thursday, triggering landslides and disrupting vehicular traffic and power supply.
A total of 19 roads were closed due to inclement weather in the last few days. A maximum of 11 roads were closed for vehicular traffic in Sirmaur, three in Kullu, two each in Chamba and Shimla and one road was closed in Kangra. A total of 171 transformers were also disrupted.
The Shimla-Theog road (National Highway 5) was blocked for vehicular traffic for nearly two hours following a landslide due to the ongoing excavation work to erect a retaining wall near Theog, about 30 km from here, in the morning.
The landslide occurred around 7 am and it took almost two hours to open the blocked road, said Rahul, a commuter. A large number of vehicles were stranded on both sides of the road for hours.
The heavy vehicles were diverted to Narkanda via Basantpur on the Shimla-Rampur road, Superintendent of Police (SP), Shimla, Sanjeev Kumar Gandhi said, adding that a technical team of the public works department visited the site to explore the possibility of making a temporary bailey bridge on the stretch.
A landslide was reported from Tholong village, near Keylong, in the tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti. Reports of power being snapped or an erratic power supply poured in from Shimla, Hamirpur and Bilaspur districts.
Shimla and its surrounding areas witnessed heavy rain accompanied by strong winds in the afternoon. Visibility was reduced to a few metres, disrupting vehicular traffic.
Widespread rains occurred across the state. Dharampur was wettest with 67 mm rains, followed by Bijahi, Kumarsain and Gaggal (60 mm each), Narkanda (57 mm), Sundernagar (56 mm), Una (49 mm), Kotkhai, Kasauli and Solan (48 mm each), Tissa (46 mm), Arki and Kheri (45 mm each), Guler (42.6 mm), Jubbarhatti (41 mm), Gohar and Pandoh (40 mm each), Bilaspur (38 mm) and Shimla (36 mm).
The day temperatures crashed by a few degrees. Una recorded a high of 31.4 degrees Celsius, 6.6 notches below normal.
The local meteorological centre has issued a “yellow” warning of thunderstorm and lightning at isolated places from May 26 to 28, and forecast rains at many places in lower areas on Friday and rains and thunderstorms at isolated places in the lower and mid hills from May 27 to 29.
The ongoing wet spell has reduced the pre-monsoon rain deficit from March 1 to May 25 to 11 per cent as the hill state has received 254.6 mm rains, compared to the normal rainfall of 230 mm.
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