Climate Change

Cloudburst in Himachal village adjacent to Indo-Tibetan border, heavy losses for farmers

This is the third incident of cloudburst in Himachal this monsoon

By Rohit Prashar
Published: Tuesday 19 July 2022
Photo: Rohit

An incident of cloudburst occurred at Shalakhar village near the Indo-Tibetan border in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh on the evening of July 18, 2022. There has been extensive damage to property but no lives have been lost.

The cloudburst has wrought havoc in the orchards of Shalakhar and Chango villages. Several wells constructed by locals for irrigation, along with several schemes of the Jal Shakti Department in the area have been completely damaged. The villages have also been cut off due to damage to roads.

Suman Lata, head of Shalakhar Panchayat, told this reporter that the Dhunala, Denanala, Bus Stand Nala, Sharang Nala, Murtikyu Nala, Geep and Gautang Nalla drains were flooded due to the cloudburst.

Areas adjoining these drains have been flooded and have suffered heavy damage. Water has entered people’s homes, apple orchards and fields, he said. Some 600 apple plants and standing pea and potato crops have been damaged due to this.

Gaurav Kumar, a young farmer of Shalakhar village, said the Kinnaur valley had been completely separated from the Spiti valley after the cloudburst.

He said relief work was being done by the local administration, public works department, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Army personnel on the spot to repair roads and bridges.

Some 91 people have lost their lives and 121 people have been injured in natural calamities since the onset of the monsoon in Himachal June 29. Also, property worth Rs 368 crore has been damaged so far.

Another incident of cloudburst had occurred in the Chhoj area of Kullu district July 6, in which four people are yet to be traced. On July 8, people’s houses and cowsheds were damaged in a cloudburst at Ghumarwin, Bilaspur district.

Himachal suffers every year during the monsoon. The state is yet to recover from the rock fall in Nigulsari last year.

More than two dozen people were killed in Kinnaur’s Nigulsari. The place has been declared unsafe. The deputy commissioner of Kinnaur district Abid Hussain Sadiq recently banned the movement of vehicles coming from Nigulsari from 8 pm to 6 am to prevent any untoward incident.

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