- Landslide in Himachal Pradesh's Lahual-Spiti; no casualities so far
- Portion of a nearby hill caved in completely blocking the river
- Multiple landslides have hit Himachal Pradesh over the past few weeks
At least 2,000 people were evacuated from 13 villages in Himachal Pradesh's Lahual-Spiti district on Friday, after a landslide blocked the flow of the Chandrabhaga river and led to the formation of a barrier lake that posed a threat to nearby homes and agricultural fields.
No fatalities or injuries have been reported so far, although 16 people are missing, according to news agency AFP. The evacuations were ordered as a "preventative measure" - in case of flash floods - a senior district official told AFP.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur later tweeted to indicate that sections of the river had resumed its flow, reducing the danger of floods along the riverbank.
"Based on information received, now the flow of the river is opening. We have given instructions to the district administration to ensure no one is harmed due to this. I also humbly request local people not to go near riverbanks and landslide-prone areas," Mr Thakur said.
He also said that a high-level team - led by cabinet colleague Dr Ramlal Markanda - had been sent to the area to take stock of the situation.
प्राप्त सूचना के आधार पर अब नदी का प्रवाह खुल रहा है।— Jairam Thakur (@jairamthakurbjp) August 13, 2021
हमने ज़िला प्रशासन को यह निर्देश दिए है कि यह सुनिश्चित किया जाए इसके कारण किसी को भी किसी भी प्रकार का नुक़सान ना हो।
मेरा स्थानीय जनता से भी विनम्र आग्रह है कि नदी किनारे तथा भूस्खलन संभावित क्षेत्रों के समीप न जाएं।
Earlier Lahual-Spiti district Deputy Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said a portion of a hill overlooking the river caved in at around 9.30 am yesterday, completely blocking the river.
A short video of the landslide showed quite a large section of a steep hill caving in and dumping a massive load of soil, rocks and other debris on the Chandrabhaga as it winds its way past. The video showed plumes of dust rising and settling as the landslide covers a section of the river.
A landslide blocked the flow of the Chandrabhaga River this morning and led to the formation of a lake that poses a threat to the human habitations and agricultural fields in Lahaul-Spiti district. @ndtvhttps://t.co/6iSoL9RWiJ— Mohammad Ghazali (@ghazalimohammad) August 13, 2021
Multiple landslides have hit Himachal Pradesh over the past few weeks, leading to several deaths.
Fourteen people died after a landslide in Kinnaur on Wednesday left many vehicles, including a state-run bus, buried under debris. The bus, en route to Shimla, reportedly had 40 people on board.
Chief Minister Thakur said the state would give Rs 4 lakh each to the families of those who died and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured; all injured will also receive free treatment, he said.
Last month 175 tourists were left stranded in Lahual-Spiti after a cloudburst triggered landslides.
Around the same time a terrifying video emerged from the Simraur area, which showed a large section of a paved road collapsing in a landslide; 100 metres of the road vanishes in moments.
And in yet another tragic incident last month, nine tourists were killed in Kinnaur after a rockslide thundered into a car. A video that surfaced on social media, showing an entire section of a bridge crumpling like paper under the impact of the boulders and disappearing in plumes of dust.
Among the dead was a young doctor whose last Twitter post was minutes before the accident.
With input from AFP, PTI