Rescuers on Tuesday said five villagers were rescued from Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district where a massive mudslide triggered by flash floods hit a remote village, damaging several houses and shops and left one person dead. Nine people are still missing.

The five people were rescued by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) after an eight-hour operation that started late Monday evening, officials told IANS over the phone from the spot.

They are suspecting nine people might be trapped either in the mud piles that spread over a large area in the worst affected Rulehar village in the Boh panchayat of Shahpur subdivision or were washed away in raging floodwaters.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur made an aerial survey of flood-hit areas in the Boh Valley in Kangra district and later met affected families.

He took stock of the losses suffered and met affected families of the area. He directed the district administration to take up the relief and rehabilitation work on war-footing in the affected areas.

Thakur said Rs 400,000 each would be provided to the families of the deceased and financial help would be given to the people whose houses had been damaged in the calamity.

The Chief Minister said a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was coordinating with the district administration in rescue and relief works and all-out efforts were being made to trace the missing persons.

He also talked to Sirmaur Deputy Commissioner Ram Gautam on the phone and enquired about the rescue of the people who got stranded on an island in Giri river in Paonta Sahib subdivision.

Kangra Senior Superintendent of Police Vimukt Ranjan told the media that the rescue operation is on.

Eleven houses were either washed away or damaged in the flash floods, he said. The nine missing people of Rulehar village comprise four women.

The weather bureau here has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to continue in Kangra, Hamirpur, Mandi, Bilaspur, Shimla, Sirmaur and Solan districts in the next 24 hours. Thereafter, rainfall intensity may decrease.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director Surender Paul told the media that heavy rains may trigger landslides, inundations in low-lying areas, heavy runoff in rivulets and disruptions of civic amenities.

–IANS

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