IGI Airport , Delhi , June 17th : altitude…. too low.
On a more serious note : monsoon death toll in not-so-northern India now over 60. Impressive floodings in Uttarkhand, news reports talk of up to 60 000 pilgrims and tourists stranded.
In Himachal Pradesh the NH22/Hindustan-Tibet road is very much out : minister evaced with helicopter from Sangla in Kinnaur after 60+ hours.
“Shimla, Jun 17 : Massive landslides blocked the Hindustan Tibet Highway (NH22) at Nathpa 193 km from Shimla early this morning disrupting the traffic in between Rampur to Kinnuar stranding hundreds of vehicles on the both sides of blocked road trapping 1000 of people including tourists.”
The PWD displays their usual finesse at the Malling block , October 9th. Video by Pauli 2040 , reposted from Trekkingforum (German).
The route between Manali and Kaza is still out , according to to to a e-mail quoted by IANS today :
“We are still stuck in Kaza! Yesterday (Wednesday), based on information given by the ADC’s office, we set out for Manali.”
“However, contrary to the information that the road through the Kunzum Pass and Rohtang Pass is open, we could not go beyond Kunzum and had to return,” Doongaji wrote.
“There were another 20-odd cars with us, who also came back. The telephone network continues to be dead.”
The main hurdle is said to be near Koksar , which is located at the northern base of the Rothang La. The chief of Lahaul & Spiti police ( who now seems to have counted in around 150 stranded tourists , among them 96 angrezis ) says the road should cleared to Koksar by Friday (tomorrow ) evening.Maybe it works out this time.
The road to Shimla is said to be cleared – except for ( you may have guessed it ) Malling , where people have started to walk across.
UPDATE , FRIDAY : IANS claims that both the Kunzum La and the slides at Koksar has been cleared , giving free access to Manali (or in the media hyperbole “150 tourists have been rescued”).
News today mentions 52 foreign and 24 domestic (Hi Lucid ! ) tourists unable to get out of Spiti , mainly staying in Kaza.The road between Gramphu and Losar has been badly damaged in landslides , but the section to Chota Dhara is expected to be clear by tomorrow. The Kinnaur route is also described as out ,but no details.
Source : Tribune , September 15th
All primary and secondary schools have closed today ( Friday ) as rains causes landslides along the NH 22 (Hindustan-Tibet) and other roads in Kinnaur. Yesterdays news mention fifteen HRTC buses immobilsed between Sarahan and Rekong Peo – apart from another chapter in the never ending story of Malling of going on and off. Shimla received 150 mms of rain , another region 300 mm. Today 99 mm of rain in Shimla , 43 in Kalpa. Night temperaures in Kalpa ( at 2800 mters ) still above freezing point ( + 5 ) , snow in higher grounds.
“The fear of flash floods with the water level in the Parechu lake once again rising has come to stalk the people residing in the villages along the Sutlej as the administration has sounded an alert in the districts of Lahaul Spiti, Kinnaur, Shimla, Mandi and Bilaspur.
Senior revenue officials have asked the deputy commissioners (DC) of these five districts to sound an alert and keep all arrangements ready in case people have to be shifted to higher areas. The hooter and sound system has been put in place to meet any eventuality.
It is learnt that the water level in the Parechu lake, which has become a cause of worry for the authorities for the past few years, has been rising.
The banks of the Sutlej have been divided into 11 sectors, seven of which fall in Kinnaur and the remaining in the Rampur area of Shimla district.
The sector officers, police personnel and home guards have been asked to be on duty round the clock so that people can be asked to immediately shift to higher areas in case there are floods. ”