Just weeks after a massive landslide, another major landslide struck the state of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday, August 11. A Himachal Pradesh Road Transport bus with several passengers and at least two other vehicles were badly hit by heavy boulders, following a landslide in Nigulseri in Kinnaur district.
The incident took place on the national highway between Rekong Peo and Rampur. One person has died and around 40 people are feared to be trapped under the debris.
Rescue Operation By NDRF, CISF, Police
Five people, including the bus driver and conductor, have been rescued from the landslide site near the Nugulsari area. Teams of ITBP from the 43rd Battalion, 17th Battalion and 19th Battalion are carrying out the rescue operations. NDRF, CISF, and the police have also reached the spot.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said the state government has requisitioned the National Disaster Response Force to carry out a search and rescue operation. "If the weather permits, I will go to the spot," he added. HRTC managing director Sandeep Kumar said the bus was on its way from Moorang to Haridwar. He said there were more than 20 people on the bus.
Last month, nine people died after massive boulders that slid down a hill following a landslide near Batsari in the tribal district of Kinnaur crashed into a bus.
Climate Change A Reality
Reoccurrences of landslides and flash floods in Himachal Pradesh this monsoon season have left environmentalists and geological experts concerned. The state recorded an increase of 116% in the landslide incidents while cloudburst occurrences have gone up by 121 per cent this monsoon season compared to 2020.
The increase in these incidents can be attributed to climate change in addition to the fragile ecology of the state. In 2012, the environment department of the state government, in its State Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, had warned that floods, landslides, glacial lake bursts, excess rainfall, excess snowfall and unseasonal rains would increase if the effects of climate change were not mitigated.