Forty-five, people including 35 students from Roorkee’s Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), who had gone trekking in Himachal Pradesh’s mountainous Lahaul and Spiti district are missing after heavy snowfall in the region, reported late on Monday.
Rajvir Singh, father of one of the students, told that the group had gone for a trek to the Hampta pass and were supposed to return to the popular tourist hub of Manali. However, they have been unable to contact the group so far.
Himachal Pradesh has seen heavy rain and snowfall in many areas. At least five people were killed and many have been injured in separate incidents as heavy rain pounded Kullu, Kangra and Chamba districts on Monday, the officials said.
Four people, including a girl, died in Kullu, while a man died in Kangra district as heavy rain triggered flash floods and landslides in many parts of the state Monday.
Schools have been directed to remain closed in Kangra, Kullu and Hamirpur districts on Tuesday as a precautionary measure, they said.
As the water level in rivers and streams increased following the incessant rain, a man was swept away by the swelling Nahad Khad (rivulet) in Kangra, the district administration said.
Several houses were also swept away in flash floods as the Beas is flowing at a dangerous level, Forest Minister Govind Singh Thakur said, cautioning people against going near rivers and nullahs.
The district administration has sounded a “high alert” in Kullu where initial loss of property in recent rain has been estimated at over Rs. 20 crore.
All adventurous sport activities, including paragliding, have been banned in Kullu, district Tourism Development Officer BS Negi said.
Hamirpur, Kangra and Kullu officials have ordered all government and private schools and colleges to be closed for the second consecutive day on Tuesday.>