The miseries caused by heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh show no signs of abating, as the state faces yet another alert for heavy rainfall. The Meteorological Center Shimla has issued a yellow alert for heavy rains from July 13 to 17 in several plains and central mountainous parts of the state. Unfavourable weather conditions are expected to persist until July 19. While there was rainfall in the capital city of Shimla and other areas on Thursday morning, the clouds gradually cleared after some sunshine. However, a yellow alert for heavy rain remains in effect in certain places. Notably, Dhaulakuan recorded 106.0 mm of rain on Wednesday night, followed by Nahan with 58.0 mm, Ghamrur Kangra with 43.6 mm, Solan with 38.0 mm, and Kandaghat Solan with 37.4 mm. In Lahaul, a landslide occurred near Jobrang village, resulting in the closure of a road due to safety concerns.

The Meteorological Center predicts intensified rainfall activity in various regions starting from July 14, due to the active monsoon system in the lower and middle mountain districts of Himachal Pradesh. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at isolated places, particularly over Chamba, Kangra, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Solan, Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, and Sirmaur districts from July 15 to 17. During this period, the average maximum temperature is projected to remain 3 to 5 degrees below normal, while the average minimum temperature is expected to remain within the normal range for the next 4 to 5 days. Surendra Paul, Director of the Meteorological Center in Shimla, highlighted that between July 7 and 12, the state received a staggering 531 percent more rainfall than the average.

The state continues to grapple with the aftermath of the heavy rains, with numerous roads, power transformers, and water supply schemes still affected. A total of 719 roads, including the Mandi-Kullu-Manali and Granphu-Kaja via Kunjam Pass routes, remain blocked. Moreover, 1,000 drinking water projects and 2,498 power transformers are currently out of order. Tragically, 20 bodies have been recovered in Kullu district, with seven remaining unidentified. In response to the challenging conditions in the mountains, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu assured that electricity, water, and communication services were temporarily restored in the Kullu district within 48 hours. Additionally, out of approximately 70,000 tourists, 60,000 have been safely evacuated.

Both tourists and local residents are advised to adhere to the guidelines and advisories issued by the concerned departments. It is crucial to follow any traffic advisories related to weather conditions and avoid areas prone to waterlogging. Caution should be exercised near rivers and streams, and one should check for traffic congestion before embarking on a journey. It is essential to avoid unsafe locations, rain, avalanche, landslide-prone areas, and upper hilly regions. Trekking in adverse weather conditions and venturing into high-altitude areas can pose significant risks.

As Himachal Pradesh remains on alert for heavy rainfall, it is crucial for all stakeholders to prioritize safety and adhere to the recommended precautions. The state government, along with relevant authorities, will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide necessary assistance to affected areas.