Shimla: Shops and vehicles were washed away as flash floods caused by a cloudburst at Kolikohar village in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh wreaked havoc in the area forcing around 1,000 people to climb on trees to save themselves from gushing waters.
The water entered the main bazar at Barot washing away 14 shops and causing damage to 32 others as people ran helter-skelter in panic. The villagers alleged that the Shanan project authorities did not open the gates of the reservoir at night and water spilled over, causing floods.
However, there was no loss of life and a dozen people were saved from being washed away by bringing them out from eight to ten feet deep water with the help of ropes, eye-witnesses said.
The swirling water breached the embankments and entered the residential areas in village Barot, Multhan, old Barot and Lakkar Bazar, forcing people to rush to safety and climbed trees.
The Jogindernagar-Pathankor highway also remained blocked for several hours due to landslides caused by rains.
Heavy rains also destroyed a number houses, cow-sheds, shops and agricultural fields. Over a dozen houses were endangered due to incessant rains in Dharampur area of Mandi district.
The retaining wall of Mandi-Kataula road collapsed suddenly, endangering seven houses, official sources said.
The rail services of Shimla-Kalka narrow gauze section were also hit by landslides and hill slips occurred at several places on many highways, including the Shimla-Kalka National highway but the same were cleared immediately and there was no major disruption of traffic.
Heavy rains lashed parts of Shimla, Solan, Sirmaur, Mandi and Kullu district and Arki, Dharampur, Kasauli and Kandaghat in Solan district.
The maximum day temperatures stayed four to twelve degrees below normal with Bhuntar recorded a high of 18 degrees, 12 degrees below normal while Una and Sundernagar recorded maximum temperature at 21.9 degrees and 26.0 degrees, 8 and 7 degree below normal respectively.
The twin tribal districts of Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti were coldest in the region with Kalpa and Keylong recording a low of 8 degree and 9.7 degree, followed by Manali 11.0 degree and Shimla 14 degrees.