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Nine killed as rain triggers flash flood in Himachal, seven missing


CHANDIGARH/SRINAGAR:  At least nine people were killed and seven are missing after flash floods struck parts of Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday. The Leh-Manali and Gramphu-Kaza highways are blocked at several places due to flash floods. Also, a landslide in Mandi district of the state has blocked Chandigarh-Manali highway near Hanogi Mata Temple.  

Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management director Sudesh Kumar Mokhta said seven people died in flash floods triggered by a cloudburst over Tozing Nullah in the tribal district of Lahaul-Spiti.  Twelve labourers were swept away by flood waters. Seven bodies have been recovered. Two were rescued and three people are still missing. While four of the dead are from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, one is from Reasi in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Two more are dead in Chamba district, sources said. One of them was washed away by flood waters. Another fell from a cliff. Four more people missing in the Kullu district are feared dead. 

Meanwhile, in Jammu and Kashmir, at least seven people were killed and 17 others were injured after a cloudburst triggered flash floods on Wednesday. Five of the injured are critical. As many as 19 people are still missing. There was heavy rain and flooding near Amarnath Cave Temple in south Kashmir. In a remote village in Kishtwar district, heavy rain damaged 21 houses.