Himachal Pradesh landslide kills 7 as monsoons strike India again

Another 3 people are missing following the incident as the nationwide death toll from heavy rains grows

Himachal Pradesh state in northern India has experienced lethal landslides in recent weeks. Reuters
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Seven people have been killed and three are missing following a landslide in India’s northern Himachal Pradesh state, officials said on Friday.

The victims add to a growing death toll from heavy monsoon rains in the country.

This also raises further fears about the proliferation of extreme weather events and impact of climate change around the world.

State Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said seven bodies had been recovered during rescue operations that were still under way.

“Three people are still missing and rescuers are looking for them,” he said.

In the Rajouri district of the neighbouring Jammu and Kashmir region, at least three people were reported dead from floods triggered by heavy rain, officials said.

“I am 58 years old and I have never seen such a severe flood in my life,” said Ved Prakash, a resident of Rajouri. He added that a local bridge was swept away by the deluge.

Himachal Pradesh rocked by series of deadly landslides and floods

Landslides and flooding have stranded dozens of tourists in recent days in parts of Himachal Pradesh, a scenic Himalayan region where many people from hotter parts of the country travel to escape high summer temperatures.

Some roads around areas where landslides occurred have been closed as a safety measure, said Saju Ram Rana, a police official in Himachal's Kinnaur district.

In the remote village of Honzar in the hills of Kashmir, the death toll from a flash flood on Wednesday rose to seven people, with 19 missing. A senior official there said rescue operations were under way but there was little chance of finding any more survivors.

From floods in China and Western Europe to forest fires in Lebanon and Turkey and heatwaves in North America, many parts of the world have been hit by extreme weather in recent weeks, raising fresh concerns about the impact of climate change.

In India, there have been increasing instances of extreme weather in recent years, causing large-scale damage to life and property.

Environmentalists warn climate change and indiscriminate construction in India's fragile coastal regions could lead to more disasters.

Updated: July 30, 2021, 4:17 PM