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Close Shave: 30 Students Rescued from High Mountains in Himachal Pradesh

Thirty college students, who were travelling from Spiti to Manali, have been rescued to safety after snapping of the road link owing to flash floods and landslides in high mountains in Himachal Pradesh, officials said on Sunday.

The district administration was informed on Saturday evening that the group was stranded between Gramphu and Chota Dharra in Lahaul subdivision. They were travelling in two vehicles.

A rescue team, comprising police, Home Guard and the Border Road Organisation (BRO) personnel, was deployed for the rescue operation, a bulletin by the state emergency operation centre here said.

It said flash floods and landslides blocked the NH 505 (Sumdo Kaza-Gramphu) at different locations between Gramphu and Dharra. “Man and resources will be deployed after the clearance of weather,” it said.

Owing to heavy rain with possibility of snowfall in high altitude areas, the government on Saturday stopped the two-week long Shrikhand Mahadev pilgrimage, considered tougher than the journey to the Amarnath cave shrine in Kashmir, till Monday.

A day earlier, three devotees slipped during the pilgrimage. The rescue team recovered one body, while two were missing, Deputy Superintendent of Police Chandrashekhar Kayath told the media. He said the search operation was hampered owing to bad weather.

Meanwhile, the hills of Himachal Pradesh continued to experience moderate to heavy rainfall on Sunday, causing landslides in several areas and blocking highways, while all major rivers and their tributaries were in spate, officials said.

An official of the local MeT office said there are chances of heavy rainfall at several places in the state till Monday.

Incessant rain have also caused massive landslides on national highways in Shimla, Kinnaur, Mandi and Kullu districts, hampering vehicular traffic.

The water level in the major rivers of the state — the Satluj, Beas and Yamuna — which enter the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana has also increased, a government official told IANS.

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