Twin avalanches block Chenab flow in Lahaul-Spiti, downstream areas on alert : The Tribune India

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Twin avalanches block Chenab flow in Lahaul-Spiti, downstream areas on alert

Twin avalanches block Chenab flow in Lahaul-Spiti, downstream areas on alert

A worker of the Border Roads Organisation clears the snow at Sissu in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday. ANI



Tribune News Service

Dipender Manta

Mandi, March 3

The flow of the Chenab was obstructed following twin avalanches in the tribal Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh today. The first avalanche occurred between Jasrath and Jobrang villages of Lahaul valley, while the second happened between Triloknath and Shenur.

652 roads shut, 1,749 transformers damaged

As many as 652 roads, including 5 NHs, are shut in Himachal. Maximum 290 roads are closed in Lahaul-Spiti, followed by 149 in Shimla, 100 in Chamba, 75 in Kinnaur, 32 in Kullu, five in Mandi and one in Kangra. Also, 1,749 transformers are out of service in state and 78 water supply schemes disrupted.

The district administration has sounded the alert for those living downstream beyond Jasrath village in the district. Residents of Jobrang, Raape, Tadang, Thirot and others had been advised to exercise caution and inform the nearest police post in case of an emergency, said SP Mayank Chaudhary.

The higher reaches of Mandi, Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti received fresh snow, while the lower regions experienced incessant rain today.

In Lahaul-Spiti, a shop was buried in an avalanche at the Tandi bridge on the Manali-Leh highway, but no loss of life was reported. Also, part of the roof of a residential building at Government College, Kukumseri, was damaged due to accumulation of snow. Power supply remained disrupted in Lahaul valley since yesterday. As many as 314 transformers had been damaged, plunging the district into darkness. The movement of traffic on highways and link roads had also been hit. As many as 292 roads, including two national highways, had been closed in the district. Further, a footbridge connecting Trilokinath and Chhating suffered damage.

Landline and mobile services of the BSNL also remained disrupted in the region for the second consecutive day. Both Kaza and Keylong, the district headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti, received around 60 cm of fresh snow each. The area around Atal Tunnel on the Manali-Leh highway recorded more than four feet of snowfall.

Official sources said multiple avalanches occurred at Seli Nullah in Rashel village, Faldi Nullah in Jobrang village and Choveer Mod in Luhani village in the district but no loss of life or damage to property was reported.

DC Rahul Kumar said road traffic and power supply remained affected in the entire district because of heavy snowfall.

“The Border Roads Organisation and Public Works Department could not start snow clearance operations due to inclement weather. Similarly, the HP State Electricity Board is facing difficulty accessing snowbound areas to restore power supply. As soon as the weather improves, the agencies will start the restoration work,” he said. As many as 81 tourists have been stranded at Kaza and nearby places in Spiti valley for the past two days. They have been unable to communicate with families due to disruption in mobile services and power supply. The administration said they were putting up in hotels and safe. In Kullu district, 34 roads, including two national highways, were closed due fresh snow. Similarly, 36 electricity transformers were damaged in the district.

Movement of traffic beyond Nehru Kund towards Lahaul valley on the Manali-Leh highway was restricted by the Manali administration.

Meanwhile, all educational institutions will remain closed in Lahaul-Spiti on March 4, except ongoing board examinations of all classes, an order by the DC stated. Similarly, all educational institutions will remain closed on March 4 under Kullu subdivision, stated an order by SDM Vikas Shukla.

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