Flash flood wreaks havoc in Manali, kills one
Himachal
Vacation Travel News

MANALI: A person was killed, 82 families rendered homeless, two
major bailey bridges, 200 meter highway, a hydel project and a dozen vehicles
washed away after a flash flood in Seri stream, tributary of river Beas, at
south portal of Rohtang tunnel, wreaked havoc after 8pm on Friday night. The
total loss, according to preliminary estimates, is over Rs fifty crore.

Body of a person,
who was drowned along with his car in Manali, was recovered after a distance of
15km towards Kullu. Many trucks, tractor and JCB machines of BRO and over 50
temporary built houses of labourers were washed away from Bahang village.

“We spent a horrible
night guarding our houses from river in spate amid the screams of people who
were shifting their household accessories away from the river,” Sanjeev Kumar,
a resident of Bahang village, said. He added that nobody slept all night and
they kept watching the water level of river with help of flood lights. Similar
was the conditions in Palchan, Aluground, Kalath, Bahnu, 18 Mile and dozens of
villages of Kullu.

A bailey bridge
on approach road to south portal of Rohtang tunnel was completely damaged. Hundreds
of labourers and engineers have stranded on the other side of the bridge. The
connecting road to the tunnel has also damaged at four places which has badly
affected the construction work on the tunnel.

SP Sharma, chief
engineer of Rohtang tunnel project told Himachal Vacation that flood in Seri stream has caused
considerable damage to the highway which has affected the construction work on
the tunnel. “Our all men are safe and working on the site. Work has been
started to repair the damaged portion,” he said.

Another bailey bridge
connecting Manali-Leh highway with army transit camp at Palchan has been completely
damaged. Hundreds of vehicles have been stranded along the Manali-Leh highway as
road link has been damaged at Palchan, 9km from here. Keeping in view the
safety of tourists and locals, administration has installed a temporary barrier
at Vashisht chowk, about 2km from here. Traffic on Manali-Kullu national
highway also remained closed till Saturday morning as a small stretch of
highway was washed away by river at Rangari on Friday night.

Over 50 per cent
of the newly built hydel project, including its power house and weir site has
been damaged by the deadly flow of river water mixed with sludge and huge logs
of trees. The protective crate walls between Palchan and Kullu have been
damaged badly Beas has changed its course at many places.

Police have evacuated
hundreds of families residing near the river banks between Palchan and Kullu to
safe places late night. Fearing danger to their houses, many people, mostly
labourers, remained engaged in dismantling their properties all day on
Saturday.

Kullu deputy
commissioner Amitabh Awasthi said that relief works are being carried out on
war footings and people have been moved to safe places. “Damaged roads are
being repaired. Locals and tourists are advised not to venture close to rivers
and streams as their water level may rise suddenly any time,” he said.

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