India – Over 20 Killed in Floods and Landslides in Himachal Pradesh

Heavy rain has caused havoc in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. As many as 22 people have lost their lives in floods, rockslides and landslides, with at least 6 people missing and 10 injured.

A railway bridge was destroyed by floods in Kangra District, Himachal Pradesh, India, August 2022. Photo: Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Response Force

Heavy rain began around 19 August 2022. The cities of Dharamshala and Kangra both recorded over 500 mm of rain in 48 hours. Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Response Force reported 34 incidents of flash floods and landslides in several districts of the state, including Mandi, Kangra, Shimla, Hamirpur and Chamba. Further rain in expected over the coming days.

As of 21 August, officials reported 22 people had died, 6 people were missing and 10 injured. Eight of the victims were members of the same family who died when a house collapsed following a landslide in Mandi district. Two people died when rain triggered a rockslide in Shimla District.

Over 700 roads have been blocked or closed across affected areas, leaving many stranded. Rail services were suspended after a bridge over the Chakki River was destroyed by floods in Kangra District. Schools have been closed in some districts.

Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Response Force said 28 people were rescued after 12 houses were submerged by floods in Hamirpur district. Emergency crews also rescued and evacuated 135 people after a landslide in Sihunta, Chamba District.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur expressed his grief over the loss of life and property due to heavy rains across the state. He ordered speedy relief and rescue work to all the district administrations of the state and appealed to people not to go near landslide prone areas, rivers and streams, and avoid unnecessary travel.