A major landslide took place on the Reckong Peo-Shimla Highway in Himachal Pradesh in the district of Kinnaur at around 12:45 pm. Reports have come up that the bus was traveling to Shimla. The local police said that 25-30 people were buried in the debris. Along with them, one truck, an HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) Bus which was carrying 40 passengers, and a few vehicles were also under the rubble. About 10 people have been rescued. A video has been released which shows boulders and rocks rolling down the hillside with a roar thereby blocking the highway. Teams of the Indo-Tibetian Border Police (ITBP) were sent to the accident site for rescue. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been called in by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have already spoken to Mr. Thakur and have assured him that they will provide all the help they can according to the government.
Over the past few weeks, lots of landslides have occurred in various parts of Himachal Pradesh due to heavy, incessant rainfall. Last month, huge boulders fell on the cars of some tourists in another part of Kinnaur. This resulted in the death of nine of them. Three others including a resident were also injured when heavy boulders fell on their tempo traveler A lot of videos containing details of accidents have emerged from the state of Himachal Pradesh this season. A video that was circulated online showed huge boulders rolling down and smashing into a bridge. Similarly, there was another incident where a stretch of the road collapsed as a hillside came down in the style of a landslide after two days of continuous and heavy rain in Sirmaur.
The border patrol organization said that its troops had rushed to the site of the landslide accident to rescue people and are currently engaged in saving the people who have been reported as trapped. The Chief Minister said, “I have directed the police and local administration to carry out rescue operations, The NDRF has also been put on alert. We have received information that one bus and one car could have been hit; we are awaiting detailed information on that matter.”
The geological experts and environmentalists are concerned because there have been reoccurrences of landslides and flash floods in the state of Himachal Pradesh in this monsoon season. There has been an increase of 116% in the landslide incidents while instances of cloudbursts have gone up by 121% this monsoon compared to 2020. From June 19 to July 30, there have been 35 major landslides in this state. It is a pointer to the fragile ecology of the Himalayan region. Last year, there were 16 landslides. There were also 17 incidents of flash floods this year across the state compared to just 9 last year.
The latest news came at 4:47 pm. It said that over 300 ITBP personnel have been carrying out rescue operations at the landslide site. So far, only 10 people have been rescued.