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Meet the Heroes Saving Lives as Himachal Battles Massive Floods & Landslides

As Himachal Pradesh's Kullu and Mandi districts grapple with unprecedented heavy rainfall leading to landslides, floods, and the loss of lives, officials have been going above and beyond to save lives 24*7.

Meet the Heroes Saving Lives as Himachal Battles Massive Floods & Landslides

North India experienced heavy rainfall in the past three days. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued warnings that more heavy downpour is expected in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi over the next couple of days.

Himachal Pradesh, especially, has seen incessant rains leading to landslides and flash floods, leading to widespread destruction. All major rivers including Beas, Ravi, Chenab, and Satluj are in spate, as vehicles, bridges, shops, and houses are being swept away. 

According to a tweet by DGP Satwant Atwal, 30 lives have been lost due to these rains in the state, and the financial loss is anywhere between Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 4,000 crore.

IMD has issued a fresh red and orange alert in Himachal on Tuesday for the next 24 hours.

“A red alert has been issued for very heavy rainfall in Solan, Shimla, Sirmaur, Kullu, Mandi, Kinnaur, and Lahaul for the next 24 hours. An orange alert has been issued in Una, Hamirpur, Kangra, and Chamba. A flash flood warning has been issued for Mandi, Kinnaur, and Lahaul-Spiti for the next 24 hours,” said IMD Scientist Sandeep Kumar Sharma.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Monday and took stock of the situation. Sukhu has sought assistance from the centre. He recently headed a review meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).

The focus is now on evacuating 300 stranded tourists and residents at Chandertaal, tweeted the CM. He also stated that the state has not seen such rains in the past 50 years.

While videos of the devastation have been circulating on social media, what also stands out is the heroic efforts by the police, NDRF, SDRF, ITBP, officials as well as locals.

Here are some of the heroes risking their lives to save others in dire conditions:

Mandi Police and SDRF rescued eight people, including a senior couple, using a makeshift ladder over a water body.

As the Beas river surged, NDRF officials took tremendous efforts to rescue nine people from across the river.

Leading from the front are women — right from Director General of Police (DGP) Satwant Atwal,  Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kullu Sakshi, and SSP Mandi Soumya — who have been leading evacuation efforts on the ground.

All officials, from the SSP to constables, have been on the field for the last 48 hours.

Rescue operations have been underway 24*7. Sirmaur police rescued 40 trapped people as late as 2:30 am on 9 July.

Another rescue operation at Kullu was done amidst great personal danger by the NDRF team.

For these heroes on the ground, the focus is to rescue lives, be they human or animal. The SDRF Kangra officials saved four cattle at the Baner rivulet. 

The state government has announced three helplines — 1100,1070 and 1077 — for people stuck in the flood.

Edited by Pranita Bhat

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