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Incessant rains in Himachal, rivers in spate

Shimla, Sep 26, 2010 (Calcutta Tube) Most of the rivers in Himachal Pradesh are in spate following continuous moderate to heavy rainfall Wednesday, while at least 80 tourists are still stranded in Sangla Valley due to landslides. Officials said more showers could aggravate the flood-like situation in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana.

‘The water levels in the Beas and Satluj rivers have increased abnormally due to continuous rainfall in their catchment areas. But the rivers are still flowing below the danger mark,’ Kullu Deputy Commissioner B.M. Nanta told IANS over telephone.

He said that the Satluj river, which also passes through Kullu district, is more in spate due to heavy rainfall in Kinnaur and Shimla districts.

In Kinnaur, the administration has declared a holiday Thursday in all schools and colleges due to downpour.

‘The Satluj is still flowing three metres below the danger mark. We are monitoring the situation and have declared alert in areas located along the river banks,’ Kinnaur Deputy Commissioner Mamta Chaudhary said.

However, she said that over 80 tourists, including foreigners, are still stranded in the Sangla Valley.

‘Nearly 50 tourists from Kolkata, five from France, 11 from Germany and the rest from other countries are stranded in and around Sangla village for the past few days due to massive landslides on the road linking the village,’ Chaudhary said.

Incessant rains have also caused massive landslides on National Highways 21 and 22 in Shimla, Kinnaur, Mandi and Kullu districts, hampering vehicular traffic.

The weather bureau in Shimla said most of the areas in the state, particularly Shimla, Solan, Kinnaur, Kullu, Sirmaur and Mandi districts, have been experiencing moderate to heavy rainfall.

Shimla got 129 mm of rain in the past 24 hours, Bhuntar in Kullu district 40 mm, Solan town 106 mm and Sundernagar in Mandi district 34 mm. Most of the rainfall has occurred since early Wednesday.

Met office director Manmohan Singh said there are chances of heavy rainfall at isolated places in the state Thursday too.

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