Shimla: As rains and snowfall lashed parts of Himachal Pradesh, schools in nine of the 12 districts are to remain closed on Monday, said reports. All government and private schools in Shimla, Sirmaur, Kangra, Kullu, Chamba, Mandi, Kinnaur, Solan and Hamirpur districts have been directed to remain closed. Of these, only government and private schools will remain closed in Shimla and Sirmaur districts while all educational institutions have been directed to remain closed in the other districts.

The Met office has forecast heavy rains and snowfall in the upper hills till Monday. Roads in Kinnaur and Chamba districts were blocked due to landslides, rains and snowfall, district officials said. Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus Khan said, “We are trying to evacuate and rehabilitate people. I request people not to go to high reach areas and near rivers.”

PTI reported that 19 people, who were were stranded at Dobi in Kullu district after flash floods and heavy rains, had been rescued by an Indian Air Force chopper. An official spokesperson said the chopper was requisitioned on the direction of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.

Thakur has also head a meeting where he has directed the officers to take all precautionary measures to minimise the loss to life and property. As many as 120 people stranded at Koksar had been rescued, so were 23 people from Mari and 23 from Rohtang, officials said. Apart from this, 14 others were rescued by the Border Road Organisation from Kullu. Sixty sheep and goats perished due to landslide at Chamba, officials said.

Kangra administration has warned against going near the rivers or nullahs.  Chamba sub-divisional magistrate has also warned the people not to go near the Ravi river and other nullahs as water was being released from the Chamera dam. The water level in Beas is increasing due to rains in the catchment areas. According to ANI, an empty luxury tourist bus was washed away in the flooded river in Manali on Sunday.