52 feared killed in Himachal flash floods


By: Hema D

Shimla: Almost 52 people have been killed in the flash flood at Ganavi village ahead of Rampur in Himachal Pradesh, according to official figures.

Thirty of the reported dead are women and the rest are men, including 10 students. These students
belonged to various far flung villages of Rampur and were staying in rented accommodations at Ganavi to study at the local school. It is reported that 16 houses of the village have been completely washed away. A Primary Health Center was also washed way and the local school has also been hit badly.

D K Ratta, S.D.M, Rampur, said that so far, only five bodies could be recovered and most of those washed away are local residents of the village.

The bodies have been identified as that of Kamla Devi, a local, who was an employee of Irrigation and Public Health Department, Jyoti Bala, Lata, Tej Ram and his wife (name not confirmed) and Leela, a female health worker in Primary Health Center.

The Army, ITBP, CISF and the local Police have been pressed into action for the rescue works and to vacate the people to safer places.

Horticulture Minster, Singhi Ram has also reached the site to watch the rescue operations, which were hit by intermittent rains even on August 15.

A reporter with a vernacular daily, Visheshar Negi who was the first to reach the site has informed that just after the catastrophe struck the village, the villagers were in panic and collected at the HPSEB Rest House, after which the officials comforted them and settled them for the night in the other houses of the second half of the village which is at a safer distance.

The administration is busy compiling the list of missing persons who are feared to have been drowned in the Sutlej River downstream.

Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh has also rushed to the spot.

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