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Monsoon announces arrival with heavy downpour

A JCB clears a street blocked by cars rammed against each other by a flash flood in Bhagsu Nath village near the popular tourist spot of McLeod Ganj in Dharamshala municipality, on 12 July 2021.

A JCB clears a street blocked by cars rammed against each other by a flash flood in Bhagsu Nath village near the popular tourist spot of McLeod Ganj in Dharamshala municipality, on 12 July 2021. Contributor

By Lobsang Wangyal

MCLEOD GANJ, India, 13 July 2021

In the first sign of its arrival, monsoon lashed Kangra with heavy rain since last night, rendering locals and tourists exasperated as they gazed at the unending downpour.

A flash flood triggered by the overnight rain gushed through Bhasu Nath village near McLeod Ganj on Monday, causing damage to several cars.

Videos going viral showed torrents sweeping a car few metres down the road, banging it against another parked car. Photos and videos showed many more cars displaced by the flood.

All rivers and rivulets in Dharamshala and neighbouring districts are swollen, posing danger to people and property.

No casualties has been reported so far, but the local administration and police were on high alert in case of any eventuality.

Heavy to very heavy rain in the region is forecast on on Tuesday as well, and moderate rainfall is predicted for the next few days.

All flights in and out of Gaggal airport near Dharamshala have been cancelled due to the inclement weather and heavy rains, according to the airport’s traffic in-charge Gaurav Kumar, reports PTI.

Monsoon normally begins by early July in the area, but its arrival was delayed this season until now. It lasts for three months.

Dharamshala is considered the second rainiest place in India, after Cherrapunji in the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya.

Since the relaxation of the ‘Corona Curfew’ on 22 June by the state government, McLeod Ganj began to fill with tourists, mostly from neighbouring Punjab, also from other states like Haryana, Delhi, and Jammu.

The ‘Work from Home’ arrangement set up due to the pandemic has brought many employees from the hot plains to the cooler hill states, including Himachal Pradesh.

In view of the serious risks due to the rough weather, the District Magistrate Nipul Jindal has ordered all the heads of various departments to remain alert for the next few days to be available for any eventuality.

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