Rain-hit Himachal’s Kinnaur is in disarray, says army

    By IANS,

    Shimla : Himachal Pradesh’s rain-ravaged Kinnaur district, which has been cut off from the rest of the state due to landslides, is in a state of disarray, the Indian Army’s Western Command said, adding that rescue operations have been launched.

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    “Due to the huge devastation caused by unprecedented and unseasonal snowfall and rain, the road network has been destroyed completely, houses washed away, fruit trees uprooted and crops destroyed,” the army’s Western Command said in an official statement Thursday.

    It said there was no electricity supply or mobile connectivity, and even safe drinking water was at a premium.

    The army units of the Western Command located in the area reacted swiftly to assist stranded locals and the tourists. The army has provided first aid, medical services, rations and shelter to stranded civilians, it said.

    So far, 65 civilians have been provided shelter and food in the army units at Pooh, Malling, Karcham and Khab.

    Additionally, it said, the army has also provided rations for 80 civilians at Pooh and 20 civilians in Poari village.

    “Army patrols are on for search and rescue missions and to evacuate civilians stranded along the now non-existent highway. The BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.) tower at Pooh is being operated by the army to facilitate communications by civilians stranded in the area,” it added.

    Fourteen people are reported to have been killed in the state in landslides triggered by torrential rains that began last weekend. Of these, 10 died in Kinnaur, while two each died in Shimla and Sirmaur districts.