Shimla: In the wake of the torrential rains in Himachal Pradesh, Offices of the District Magistrate of Shimla and Kullu districts respectively ordered closure of educational institutions in their areas on August 19. So far, 19 people have died due to heavy rains in the state.

“In view of the heavy rains and blockages and damage caused to roads, it has become necessary to order closure of all the educational institutions including Government, Private and Convent schools, Colleges, Universities, ITIs, Polytechnics And Anganwadi Centers in Shimla District for the safety of children as well as in the public interest,” the order read.

Incessant rains and landslides have thrown life out of gear leaving hundreds of people stranded in Himachal Pradesh today. One person is feared trapped under the debris of a house that collapsed in Shimla today while three persons were rescued.

The rainfall has caused immense damage to road links, closing of hydropower projects and release excess water from a dam, officials said. Rescue operations are underway in multiple locations in the state.

Traffic on Chandigarh-Manali Highway between Manali and Kullu was partially blocked as the road was damaged. Movement of heavy vehicles was stopped, while light vehicles were still plying. Moreover, National Highway 5 was blocked due to landslide and torrential rains in Ribba, Kinnaur.

A total of 68 roads across the state were damaged and the maximum 47 blockades were in Chamba district, a government spokesperson told news agency IANS. The Mandi-Jogindernagar highway was closed for traffic.

In Chamba district, two people, including a 70-year-old person, were reported missing in landslide in Lona gram panchayat in Chamba district. Boulders smashed their house, police said.

Moreover, in Ghumarwin in Bilaspur district, eight families and their livestock were evacuated from their houses owing to flooding in the area.