Heavy rains in Himachal close highways; hundreds stranded

Shimla, (IANS) After heavy overnight rains, most of the roads in the interiors of Himachal Pradesh remained closed to traffic on Monday, stranding hundreds of travellers and commuters.

The Chandigarh-Manali National Highway-21 has been closed for vehicles near Mandi town, an official said. Likewise, the Chandigarh-Shimla National Highway-5 was hampered near Jabli town in Solan district.

Vehicular movement in Kinnaur district remained suspended since a large stretch of the Hindustan-Tibet Road has been under landslides at several points.

Reports said five persons were buried under a landslide in Kandaghat area in Solan district. One of them reportedly died as rescue work is still on.

An official said the road network in the higher reaches of Kinnaur, Shimla, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu and Sirmaur districts was the worst affected and efforts were being made to reopen it.

As a precautionary measure, all schools and educational institutes in Shimla and Mandi district have been closed for the day.

According to the Met office here, moderate to heavy showers have occurred in most parts of the state since Sunday.

Nehri town in Mandi district recorded the highest rainfall in the state at 235 mm. Dharamsala town recorded 110 mm rain in the past 24 hours, while it was 100 mm here in the state capital, 98 mm in Kasauli, 94 mm in Solan town and 57 mm in Dalhousie.

The weather office has forecast heavy rains across the state till Tuesday.

Medaram Jathara

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