File photo: Heavy rains create a flash flood-like situation in Himachal Pradesh


Wednesday, July 6: Now that the southwest monsoon has covered the entire country and is active in all parts, wet weather appears to be soaking the whole of India. And the situation is no different in the northernmost states, where intense rainfall activity is on the cards for the remainder of this week.

According to meteorologists, southeasterly winds flowing along the northern edge of the monsoon trough are expected to produce heavy to very heavy rainfall over the Sub-Himalayan Region for the next few days.

Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are likely to bear the brunt of these conditions, with very heavy rains set to lash isolated locations across both states for the next 24 hours, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Thereafter, from Thursday to Saturday (July 7-9), isolated heavy showers will continue to drench the Himalayan states.

In view of these predictions, the IMD’s regional met centre in New Delhi has issued an orange alert over both Himachal and Uttarakhand for Wednesday, so as to urge their residents to ‘be prepared’ for rough weather.

Within Himachal, the districts of Shimla, Chamba, Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Solan and Sirmaur have been placed on an orange alert for today. As for Uttarakhand, the same alert has been issued across Dehradun, Tehri Garhwal, Pauri Garhwal, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Pithoragarh, Bageshwar, Nainital and Champawat districts.

From Thursday to Saturday, the state-wide advisories will be downgraded to a yellow watch (‘be aware’ of local weather situation). However, the alert levels may well change depending on how the rainfall situation evolves.

In fact, reports of a cloudburst and flash floods from earlier this morning have already started to emerge from Himachal. Malana and Manikaran in the Kullu district have been cut off from the rest of the state. Six people are currently missing, but rescue efforts are underway.

The state has been receiving unrelenting rainfall since last night, and this morning, a rain-induced landslide near the Dhalli tunnel in Shimla led to the death of one woman and injuries to two others. Debris from the incident also damaged some vehicles on the road.

With the rains now intensifying, both states’ rainfall figures are creeping back to normal. Between June 1 and July 5, the precipitation recorded by Himachal (104.9 mm) and Uttarakhand (178.1 mm) has remained below their long-term averages for this period.


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