Heavy rainfall has caused flooding and landslides in Himachal Pradesh state in recent days, leaving at least eight people dead and hundreds of others stranded as of Monday, September 24. Heavy snowfall has also been recorded in high elevations.
Transportation disruptions, mainly due to dozens of road and highway closures, have been reported in the state, with scores of people requiring rescues from security forces after being stranded by the monsoon-related severe weather. Evacuations have begun from low-lying areas in Kangra, Chamba, and Mandi districts. Schools in Shimla, Sirmaur, Kangra, Kullu, Chamba, Mandi, Kinnaur, Solan, and Hamirpur districts have been closed due to the flooding; schools in Punjab and Haryana states have also been ordered to stay closed on Tuesday, September 25, due to weather-related concerns, according to local sources.
Continuing transportation disruptions, additional evacuations, and lingering public service disruptions are to be expected in affected areas over the coming days. Consequent telecommunications and power disruptions are also possible.
India typically experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season (June to October). Monsoon rains frequently cause flooding, landslides, population evacuations and transportation disruptions. Flooding from monsoon rains has killed over 1200 people in six states this year. Himachal Pradesh, located on the southern slopes of the western Himalayas, is highly exposed to the monsoon.
Individuals present in the affected states are advised to keep abreast of local weather forecasts, expect transportation and other disruptions, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities. Please be advised that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all food discarded.
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