When extremely heavy rains lashed Kashan in Himachal Pradesh's Mandi district, village chief Khem Singh sent a message on a WhatsApp group asking people to remain alert. But the 'pradhan' himself and seven other family members were killed in a landslide.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said this on Monday after visiting flash flood and landslide-hit areas in Mandi district and announced that Singh's house would be reconstructed by the administration.
Twenty-two people were killed, twelve injured and five feared dead as they went missing in 36 incidents of landslides and flash floods triggered by heavy rainfall across Himachal Pradesh on Saturday.
Thakur also announced that the state government will provide Rs 4 lakh to next of kin of the deceased who lost their lives in the landslides and flash floods.
मण्डी के शेगली में हुई प्राकृतिक आपदा से प्रभावित परिवारों के दर्द को महसूस कर रहा हूं।— Jairam Thakur (@jairamthakurbjp) August 22, 2022
यहां आकर बारिश से क्षतिग्रस्त हुए स्थानों का दौरा किया तथा प्रभावित परिवारों से मिलकर अपनी संवेदनाएं व्यक्त की।
ईश्वर दिवंगत आत्माओं को शांति तथा शोकग्रस्त परिवारजनों को संबल प्रदान करें। pic.twitter.com/sXY5PeG38S
The chief minister said their lives could not be saved although rescue teams had left for the village without wasting any time after getting information about the landslide.
However, it took several hours to reach there as all the roads leading to the village were badly damaged, he said. Thakur met Singh's relatives during his visit to Kashan village in and expressed his condolences.
The CM said he has directed the deputy commissioners of the districts affected by rains to swiftly act to restore damaged roads, power and water supply. Thakur said the Centre had already been apprised about the situation created by rains and a central team would visit the state to assess the loss as per norms. Meanwhile Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has written a letter to Thakur, expressing his sadness over the loss of lives and damage to property owing to heavy rains in the state, his office said.
"I offer my condolences to you, to the families who have lost loved ones, and to all those affected by this devastation," he wrote.
"I pray for them. I appreciate that the state government and other agencies are doing their utmost to provide relief to people affected by these calamitous conditions.” "As a token of our solidarity with the people of Himachal Pradesh, our friends and neighbours, the Dalai Lama Trust is making a donation to relief and rescue efforts," the letter said.
The CM's home district Mandi was the worst hit where 13 people died and five were feared dead in flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rainfall. In Mandi, six members of a family went missing after a flash flood in Baghi nullah on the Mandi-Katola-Prashar road on Saturday.
While the body of a girl was recovered at some distance away from her house, five members of her family are feared dead as they were washed away after flash flood. Besides several roads, power transformers and water supply pipes were also damaged.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)