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Watch: College building collapses amid torrential rains in northern India

Dozens of people are have been reported dead as incessant downpours pound the hilly states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Fatalities continue to mount in two of India’s northern states, after heavy rains triggered flash floods and landslides. Since the start of the monsoon season in late June, over 250 people have died in rain-related incidents and road accidents in Himachal Pradesh, India Today reported, citing the local emergency operation center. In the neighboring state of Uttarakhand, more than 60 people have died and 17 have gone missing since the onset of monsoon, the report said.

On Monday, the Dehradun Defence College building collapsed in the hilly region of Maldevta, a popular tourist destination in Uttarakhand. A video published by PTI news agency shows the ruined structure amid the relentless downpour.

Another video was released on Monday from the city of Rishikesh, a major hub for Hindu pilgrims, also popular with foreign travelers, showing a statue of Lord Shiva submerged due to high water levels in the Ganga River.

In Himachal Pradesh, the town of Shimla was hit by a massive landslide, causing the collapse of a temple, and leaving nine people dead. Another 20 have been killed in various rain-related incidents across the state, with many more feared missing, according to local officials and media reports.

Himachal Pradesh chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu tweeted that he had visited the Phagli area of Shimla to personally oversee efforts to help those affected by the landslide. “Our immediate and wholehearted focus remains on orchestrating swift rescue and relief efforts,” he said. The official also shared harrowing footage of a landslide in Pandoh, in the Mandi district.

The incidents follow a red alert raised by the India Meteorological Department on Sunday, predicting substantial rainfall and lightning across six districts. The forecast also indicated the likelihood of very heavy to extremely heavy rain, accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning, in isolated locations within Dehradun, Pauri, Tehri, Nainital, Champawat, and Udham Singh Nagar.

Also in Uttarakhand, a landslide has blocked the Badrinath National Highway in the Pipalkoti area of Chamoli district, burying several vehicles. Himanshu Khurana, the District Magistrate of Chamoli, told ANI News that mountain debris in Pipalkoti had led to road closures, and that a comprehensive damage assessment report would be prepared and forwarded to the central government for urgent relief efforts at the close of the monsoon season.

Search and rescue teams from the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed to the areas worst impacted by rain-related incidents. In addition, the authorities have kept helicopters on standby for deployment to disaster-stricken regions.

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Source:RT News

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