Express News Service

CHANDIGARH:   A major landslide occurred near Nalda village in Himachal Pradesh’s tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti on Friday, blocking the flow of Chandrabhaga River, leading to hundreds of residents from a dozen villages being evacuated and water entering some houses.

This is for the first time a landslide has blocked flow of the river. As a precautionary measure, villages along the river are on alert and people have been evacuated from the low-lying areas. An official of Lauhaul and Spiti district said water has slowly begun flowing over the landslide debris that was blocking the river. Damages to the tune of Rs 52 lakh was reported as water entered a few houses as well as damaged land in some areas.

The district administration carried out a helicopter survey to gauge the situation. An NDRF team has also been deployed. Sudesh Kumar Mokhta Director of Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority said the river is by and large blocked and only a small of amount of water is flowing over the debris currently resulting in the formation of a lake near the near Jasrath village 34 kilometres from the district headquarters Keylong. “No loss of life or property has been reported due to the incident so far.

The villages have been evacuated and a helicopter has been deployed to conduct aerial survey,” he said. Sources said water has entered four houses and the residents have been shifted to safer places. Also, a few cowsheds and cattles have also been moved to safer areas as at least two villages Tarang and Jasrat have been affected by the pooling of water due to landslide blockage.

High-level team takes stockA high-level team headed by Tribal Development Minister Ram Lal Markanda and comprising Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh and DGP Sanjay Kundu reviewed the situation