A massive landslide in India’s ecologically fragile state of Himachal Pradesh was captured on camera, minutes before it resulted in the death of nine people and caused the collapse of an iron and stone bridge on Sunday.
The deadly landslide hit an iron bridge in the Sangla valley in the Himalayan state on Sunday afternoon. Several such landslides were triggered in the mountainous region after heavy rainfall, officials told Indian media.
A video of the landslide, posted by an environmentalist on Twitter, shows large missiles of rocks breaking off a mountain and rolling down into the valley where several cars were parked. A large boulder can be seen hitting the bridge, plunging it into the river, as massive clouds of dust surround the area.
Chief secretary of the state Anil Khachi confirmed the nine deaths along with the damage to the bridge and a 200-metre highway.
“All the 11 victims were tourists whose vehicle got hit by boulders,” Saju Ram Rana, SP Kinnaur, was quoting by Indian media as saying.
Local authorities said the injured were rushed to a nearby hospital while rescuers brought several of the victims out. A team of doctors was called at the spot to treat the injured.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister of the state Jairam Thakur expressed their condolences.
“It is very sad that a vehicle carrying tourists came under its (landslide) grip, in which nine died and two injured and one passerby got injured. May God grant peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved family,” Mr Thakur tweeted in Hindi.
“All arrangements are being made for the treatment of those injured in the accident. I wish them a speedy recovery,” read a tweet from Mr Modi’s office.
According to the media, several warnings for the landslides during the monsoon season were issued by the weather department.
Landslides have become more frequent in recent years in the Himalayan state even as tourists from all over India flocked to the hilly regions in the recent weeks as Covid-19 restrictions were eased.
Rains wreaked havoc in several areas of India, triggering floods in the western coast in recent days. Flood and devastation from rains have killed more than 150 people while dozens are missing. The financial capital of Mumbai and the resort state of Goa are badly affected.
Floods are also causing destruction at other places in Asia. Thousands of residents have fled inundated areas in the Philippine capital of Manila, as authorities struggled to construct enough shelters.
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