It is the second big landslide in two weeks that has killed four people. Rescue Operations are on the way
Over 40 people are feared trapped in the debris as a huge landslide struck the Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh at around 12.45 pm today. Four people are feared dead, and 12 people were rescued at the time of writing the report.
The Hindustan Times reports, Indo-Tibetan border police have said that the landslide had occurred on Reckong Peo- Shimla Highway, and a truck, HRTC bus, and a few other vehicles came under the rubble.
They have tweeted, “One truck, an HRTC Bus and few vehicles reported came under the rubble. Many people reported being trapped. ITBP teams rushed for rescue. More details awaited.”
Himachal Pradesh: The Rescue Mission
The border patrolling forces have already reached the site and are engaged in a rescue operation to save the reportedly trap people. As per the locals, the conductor of the bus is in contact with the rescue officials. The trapped car occupants are also trying to reach the officials.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur has said that he has already directed the local administrators and State Police to get involved in rescue missions. Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is also alerted.
“I have directed the police and local administration to carry out rescue operations,” the chief minister said to reporters as quoted by ANI. “The NDRF has also been put on alert. We have received information that one bus and a car could have been hit; we are awaiting detailed information on the matter.”
Prime Minister Office or PMO has tweeted about the unfortunate incident assuring all kinds of support to the state. His tweet reads, “PM assured all possible support in the ongoing rescue operations.”
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also had a word with Himachal Pradesh CM and other officials. He has said in a tweet, “@ITBP_official Teams are engaged in relief and rescue work with full readiness. It is the priority of ITBP and local administration to save lives and provide prompt treatment to the injured.”
The Debatable Reasons Of These landslides
The fragile Himalayan state is blankly staring at the aftermaths of altered land use. Severe rainfall in the current monsoon season has already wrecked the state and left the slopes dangling. The altered land use has also led to floods in the town of Dharmashala. These unstable hill slopes can descend on a bridge or a car crossing it and crushing them underneath.
The debate of building hydel power stations in forest land and planned afforestation to control the damage has gained voice after the 26 July landslide that killed nine tourists and injured three.
The Second Big Landslide In Two Week
Kinnaur has become the epicenter of landslides as the district witnessed its second landslide in two weeks. According to Hindustan Times, the landslides have increased 116% year-on-year in 2020. Similarly, cloudburst occurrences have increased by 121% on year compared to the previous year. Such increases have left environmentalists and geological experts concern.
The state has reported around 35 major landslides since 13 June, the beginning of monsoon season. In 2020, 17 flash flood incidents were reported across the state.