Manali-Leh highway closed due to landslides, Yamuna continues to flow above danger mark in Delhi

NEW DELHI, Aug 21: Fresh landslides struck Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district on Wednesday, blocking traffic on one of the major highways in the state, while the Yamuna continued to flow over the danger mark in Delhi, officials said.

In Uttarakhand, a helicopter engaged in relief-and-rescue operations in rain-ravaged Uttarkashi district crashed, killing all three persons on board.

The water level of the Yamuna had started receding in the national capital, but the river was still flowing above the danger mark, an official said.

According to the Flood Control Room, the water level came down to 206.50 metres at 5 pm from 206.60 metres at 2 pm.

“The water level is likely to recede further as Haryana has so far not released water from the Hathni Kund barrage in large quantity,” a government official said, adding that at 4 pm, only 10,000 cusec water was released from the barrage.

The river breached the danger mark of 205.33 metres on Monday. Due to inundation of the low-lying areas, over 15,000 people living in the Yamuna floodplains were shifted to the tents set up by various government agencies, officials said.

Fresh landslides struck Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district on Wednesday, blocking traffic on the Manali-Leh highway, police said.

The landslides occurred at Marhi between Manali and Rohtang at around 11.30 am, Kullu Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh said.

The highway was again blocked for traffic following the fresh landslides, he added.

The highway was opened for vehicles on Tuesday after remaining blocked for some days following heavy rains.

Several roads, which were blocked in Kullu district due to landslides and flash floods triggered by heavy rains, were opened for light vehicles on Wednesday, police said.

A helicopter engaged in relief-and-rescue operations in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district crashed, killing all three persons on board.

The helicopter, belonging to Heritage Aviation, crashed near Moldi after getting entangled in cables, Ashok Kumar, Uttarakhand’s Director General (Law and order), said.

The pilot, the co-pilot and a local were killed in the crash, he added.

Torrential rains in the Mori area of the district caused large-scale damage and demolished a number of houses on Sunday. Sixteen persons were killed and around half-a-dozen went missing.       Army helicopters were pressed into service to airdrop food packets in the flood-hit villages of Punjab’s Jalandhar district as they remained inundated because of breaches in the earthen embankments of the Sutlej river.

Following the recent rains and release of excess water from the Bhakra dam, the Sutlej and its tributaries had flooded villages in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Ferozepur and Rupnagar, causing damage to crops and houses in the low-lying areas.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Chitrakoot district, two boys were killed in lightning strikes, police said.

Uday Raj (13) and Pushpendra (12) were grazing cattle at Khandeha village under Mau Police Station limits on Tuesday evening when the tragedy struck, Circle Officer Ishtiyaq Ahmed said.

They suffered serious injuries and were rushed to the Mau Community Health Centre, where they were declared dead, he added.

The death toll in rain-related incidents climbed to 125 in Kerala with the recovery of two more bodies on Wednesday, even as the search for 17 missing persons continued in landslide-hit Malappuram and Wayanad.

In Malappuram, 60 people have been killed so far and 11 are missing, while in neighbouring Wayanad, 14 lives have been lost and a search is on to trace five missing persons.

Many parts of Odisha are likely to be lashed by heavy rainfall in the next four days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

A monsoon trough line extending from east Uttar Pradesh to north Tamil Nadu through Odisha is likely to trigger heavy rain in many areas of the state, it said in a weather bulletin. (PTI)


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